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Research Integrity Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
12.21 Vice President, Academic Director, Applied Research Board of Governors June 21, 2012 Dec. 2019 Dec. 16, 2019 Dec. 2024
  1. Purpose
    1. The purpose of this policy is to express and communicate that standards for the responsible conduct of research to ensure all research activities and undertakings are seen as rigorous, honest and at the highest possible standard. Research is expected to be carried out with responsible conduct, transparently, with diligence, and be ethical. This policy complies with the requirements of the “Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research”.
  1. Scope
    1. This policy applies to all employees, students, and external professional affiliates involved in any capacity in research at NSCC, with the exception of institutional research work done to inform college decision-making and planning.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research Refers to the Government of Canada guidelines established by the Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research and “sets out the responsibilities and corresponding policies for researchers, Institutions, and the Agencies, that together help support and promote a positive research environment. It specifies the responsibilities of researchers with respect to research integrity, applying for funding, financial management, and requirements for conducting certain
types of research, and defines what constitutes a breach of Agency policies. For Institutions, it details the minimum requirements for institutional policies for addressing allegations of all types of policy breaches, and Institutions' responsibilities for promoting responsible conduct of research and reporting to the Agencies.”

(http://www.rcr.ethics.gc.ca/eng/framework-cadre.html)

 

  1. Policy
    1. Recognizing and respecting existing rights that individuals possess, including respective intellectual property rights, research at NSCC will be conducted under the highest standards of research integrity. This includes carrying out research using best research practices honestly, accountably, openly and fairly and in the dissemination of knowledge in accordance with the following assigned responsibilities.
    2. Students, employees, and external professional affiliates of NSCC are responsible for conducting their research according to the highest standards of research integrity. NSCC researchers are responsible for:
      1. obtaining all the required NSCC and respective agency approvals and training for research including, but not limited to, research involving human or animal subjects, fieldwork, biohazards, environmental impact;
      2. ensuring that their research is conducted in accordance with these approved protocols and that they adhere to all reporting requirements;
      3. appropriately managing and reporting any real, potential or perceived conflict of interest or commitment, in accordance with NSCC’s Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy to ensure that the objectives of the “Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research” are met;
      4. keeping complete and accurate records of data, methodologies and findings, including graphs and images, in accordance with the applicable funding partner requirements, institutional policies and/or laws, regulations, and professional or disciplinary standards in a manner that will allow verification or replication of the work by others;
      5. ensuring students, interns and research staff are carefully supervised and trained in the conduct of research, including experiments, processing of acquired data, recording of data and other results, interpretation of results, making results public, and the storage of research records and materials;
      6. exercising rigor and integrity in obtaining and analyzing data, which includes being able to verify the authenticity of all data or other factual information generated in their research while ensuring that confidentiality is protected where required;
      7. protecting the privacy of any individuals whose personal information has been obtained as part of any research activities as required under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and any other applicable government legislation;
      8. funds acquired for the support of research as required by the terms of research funding agreements and NSCC’s policies, including but not limited to academic, financial and human resource policies;
      9. referencing and, in accordance with NSCC’s Use of Copyright Materials Policy, obtaining permission for the use of all published and unpublished work, including data, source material, methodologies, findings, graphs and images, and ensuring, with their consent, that individuals who have made a substantive intellectual contribution to research being reported in a publication are included as an author. Specific requirements for authorship and acknowledgement will be determined by law and the ethical guidelines or procedures established by a researcher’s discipline (i.e., set out by the journal(s) where publication is sought or by the leading journals in the researcher’s discipline);
      10. acknowledging where practicably possible, in addition to authors, all contributors and contributions to research, including writers, funders and sponsors;
      11. maintaining confidentiality of all intellectual property, whether it forms background intellectual property or is developed or conceived as part of research, and promptly reporting all claims of intellectual property infringement or unauthorized use of intellectual property of which they become aware to the Associate Vice President Applied Research and Innovation or Vice President Academic;
      12. disclosing to the researcher’s Director, Dean, Associate Vice President or Executive member, any research misconduct of which they have become aware even if not specifically listed within this policy.
    3. NSCC Managers, Academic Chairs, Deans, Principals, Directors, Associate Vice Presidents, and Executive members are responsible for promoting Applied Research as a form of teaching and learning at the NSCC and for ensuring that applied research is conducted with the highest standards of research integrity. They are also responsible for:
      1. dealing expeditiously and fairly with any known instances or allegations of research misconduct;
      2. encouraging activities that support research integrity among NSCC Researchers.
    4. Any allegations of misconduct related to research at NSCC will be dealt with by prompt, effective procedures that ensure fairness and protect both those whose integrity is brought into question and those who bring forward allegations of misconduct. Lack of awareness of the policies, cultural differences, and/or impairment by alcohol or drugs are not a defense for research misconduct.
    5. Research Misconduct includes but is not limited to:
      1. the intentional fabrication or falsification of data, erroneously reporting research procedures, or data analysis; the use of someone else’s data or ideas and claiming it as one’s own; plagiarism; or other deceitful acts or improprieties in proposing, conducting, reporting, or reviewing research;
      2. failure to comply with pertinent federal, provincial, international, or NSCC’s Research Ethics Policy stipulations for the protection of human or animal subjects, the public, or failure to meet other legal requirements that relate to the conduct of research;
      3. failure to conduct research in the manner in which it has been approved by NSCC’s Research Ethics Board;
      4. failure to disclose any conflict of interest when asked to undertake reviews of research grant applications or to test products for sale or distribution to the public;
      5. failure to disclose conflict of interest prior to any commitment or expenditure of research funds and failure to notify their respective unit head should a conflict arise at a later point;
      6. failure to disclose any financial interest in a company that contracts with NSCC to undertake research, particularly research involving the company's products, or to provide research-related materials or services. Financial interest means ownership, direct or indirect beneficial interest, substantial stock holdings, a directorship, honoraria or consulting fees, but does not include minor stock holding (<$10,000) in publicly traded corporations;
      7. misuse of funds acquired for the support of research; and,
      8. failure to comply with terms of research funding agreements.
    6. Research misconduct is to be reported to the Associate Vice President Applied Research and Innovation and to the researcher’s senior administrator, meaning a Director, Dean, Associate Vice President, Vice President, President, or Board of Governors, as applicable according to NSCC’s reporting structure. These individuals are responsible for:
      1. determining whether a formal investigation will occur;
      2. directing and overseeing formal investigations, as outlined in NSCC’s Research Integrity Investigation Procedure; and,
      3. reporting the matter to the Secretariat for the Responsible Conduct of Research as set out in the “Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research”.
    7. NSCC will protect the confidentiality of information regarding a potential violation of this Policy to the fullest extent possible. If the allegation is substantiated, NSCC reserves the right to use or disclose information in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and any other applicable government legislation, which may include disclosing the discipline imposed on the researcher.
  1. Policy Supports

Related Policies:

Research Ethics Board Policy
74.01 Intellectual Property Policy
42.11 Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy
71.01 Use of Copyright Materials Policy
31.01 Academic Integrity Policy
42.31 Safe Disclosure Policy

Procedures:

Research Integrity Investigation Procedure

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