Honest, ethical and responsible

Research with integrity

The Australian Code of the Responsible Conduct of Research (“the Code”) identifies the broad principles that characterise an honest, ethical and responsible research culture and provides a framework for responsible research conduct.

The principles that UOW and all researchers at UOW must adhere to are:

  • Honesty, rigour & accountability: in the development, undertaking and reporting of research (P1, P2 & P7)
  • Transparency: in declaring interests and reporting research methodology, data and findings (P3)
  • Fairness: in the treatment of others (P4)
  • Respect: for research participants, the wider community, animals and the environment (P5)
  • Recognition: of the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be engaged in research that affects or is of particular significance to them (P6)
  • Promotion: of responsible research practice (P8)

The Code is supported by a series of guides that are designed to assist researchers and institutions in meeting their obligations and drive University policies. Refer to the forms, guidelines and policies tab.

A failure to meet the principles and responsibilities set out in the Code and/or University policy by any Researcher (staff or student), may constitute a breach or, in more serious cases, research misconduct.

How can we help you?

The Australian Code of the Responsible Conduct of Research (“the Code”) provides the governance framework for Research Integrity at UOW. UOW’s Code of Practice – Responsible Conduct of Research mandates the broad principles and behaviours that characterise the responsible conduct of research. Researchers new to research and/or new to UOW are highly encouraged to familiarise themselves with both of these documents.

In addition, new researchers should consider the following:

Further information to assist researchers to research with integrity can be found at:

Want to know more or have a specific question?

Reach out to our Research Integrity Officer to learn more about Research Integrity and our approach at UOW. The Research Integrity Officer can also arrange specific training to meet your needs which can be as formal or informal as you require.

Alternatively, UOW has an established network of academic staff called Research Integrity Advisors who can assist you with discipline and research specific questions and concerns about integrity.

The Research Integrity Officer receives and coordinates the assessment of concerns regarding the conduct of research and potential breaches of the Code.

Any person who has a concern about the conduct of research at UOW may wish to speak with a Research Integrity Advisor in the first instance. This discussion will be confidential and it is recommended that if possible, the situation is discussed as a hypothetical.

If the matter is not able to be resolved locally then a formal complaint can be made.

Upon receipt of a formal complaint the research integrity and conduct policy: breaches, concerns and complaints and research integrity breaches, concerns and complaints management procedure will be applied. The key steps involved in assessing a breach, concern or complaint are:

  1. The contents of the form and any attachments will be assessed to identify if it relates to research integrity and whether UOW has authority or jurisdiction over the matter. This assessment will also identify whether any urgent action needs to be taken ie. to protect humans, animals or the environment affected by the research activity.
  2. If a matter is to proceed then a preliminary assessment will be undertaken to determine if there is a legitimate basis for the concern and recommend if the concern can be dismissed, resolved if found to be a minor issue or breach) or referred for formal investigation (major issue or breach).

Lodge a breach, concern or complaint

If you have a concern or would like to lodge a formal complaint regarding the conduct of a research project, please contact the Research Integrity Officer on 4221 4607 or uow-researchintegrity@uow.edu.au 

The Research Integrity and Ethics Unit promotes the responsible conduct of research by providing advice and training to researchers, staff and students in accordance with the Australian Code of the Responsible Conduct of Research (“the Code”) and UOW’s Code of Practice – Responsible Conduct of Research. This is achieved through online and face-to-face training and the appointment of Research Integrity Advisors (RIAs) to form the Research Integrity Advisors Network (RIAN).

The RIAN meets regularly to discuss Research Integrity issues, keep abreast of the latest developments and to plan training and outreach to improve understanding of responsible research practices.

Research Integrity Advisors (RIAs) are UOW academic staff who have been appointed by their Faculty and/or School due to their experience with responsible research practices, interest in Research Integrity and demonstration of the principles of honesty, fairness, equity, balanced decision making, personal judgement and confidentiality.

RIAs are available to assist staff and student researchers in conducting research with integrity and to provide advice in resolving difficulties that arise when doing research including directing researchers to the appropriate path to pursue problem matters.

Further information on the role of Research Integrity Advisors can be found in the NHMRC Research Integrity Advisor guideline.

RIAs can direct researchers to information and clarify questions to help in understanding responsible research practices in relation to:

  • Authorship
  • Supervision
  • Publication and dissemination of research findings
  • Ethics – Researchers can also speak to Ethics Advisors for assistance with their application
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Peer Review
  • Management of research data – Researchers may also wish to review the information available on research data management online and discuss their needs with redbox-support@uow.edu.au

RIAs can also provide advice about questionable research practices and the policy and processes for investigating a concern, complaint or potential breach of the Code, including identifying the most appropriate path to pursue the matter.

RIAs can only provide knowledgeable but informal advice and guidance. The RIA will identify available options that may assist you in resolving your concerns however cannot advocate for yourself or another member of staff, make contact on your behalf or investigate an issue.

An RIA cannot manage or provide any advice on bullying or harassment. Researchers will be directed to discuss such allegations with their Head of School, Associate Dean (Research) or Associate Dean (Higher Degree Research). Advice can also be sought from the Complaints Management Centre who can also assist with reporting matters.

Advice and guidance can be provided confidentially and anonymously however certain types of matters may need to be escalated and reported immediately (e.g: if it poses a threat to health or safety). The RIA or the Research Integrity and Ethics Unit can discuss this with you.

UOW has a network of Research Integrity Advisors across the University. Staff and student researchers with questions, concerns or in need of guidance or advice pertaining to Research Integrity are welcome to approach any RIA from any School or discipline.

Download details regarding the current UOW Research Integrity Advisors (PDF) including their email address and a link to their UOW Scholars page. Researchers are advised to email the RIA in the first instance to outline their query or request an appointment.

Research Integrity Advisors (RIAs) are academic staff who play a crucial role in maintaining the principles of responsible research conduct as defined in the Australian Code of the Responsible Conduct of Research (“the Code”) and UOW’s Code of Practice – Responsible Conduct of Research.

RIAs assist researchers as they provide a knowledge base around integrity and ethics issues, procedures and processes. RIAs are generally appointed at a School or Institute level and they provide advice and guidance to staff, students and external stakeholders on acceptable research practices and the appropriate University processes for dealing with concerns, complaints or allegations involving potential breaches of the Code.

Further information on the role of the RIA can be found in the Research Integrity Advisor Role Statement and Expression of Interest document. Academic staff interested in becoming a RIA and joining the network should review the RIA Role Statement and discuss their Faculty/School needs with their supervisor, Head of School or Associate Dean (Research).

Any questions can be directed to uow-researchintegrity@uow.edu.au.


I’d like to understand more about Predatory Publishing – where can I find information?

UOW provides the Predatory Publishing and Conferences Guideline to assist researchers in submitting research manuscripts to reputable publishers. The guideline provides information on indicators to assess publication outlet quality to enable researchers to make responsible decisions in dissemination of their research findings.

The UOW Library provides the Library support for researchers guide which contains tools on how to identify quality journals and conferences.

A webinar session focusing on Predatory Publishing and Conferences was held on 13 September 2021. A recording and copy of the slides can be found in the Mythbuster sessions folder on the self-enrol Research Integrity Moodle site.

Researchers are encouraged to contact the Liaison Library Team for advice on publishing and use of the journal quality tools. The Research Integrity Office is also available to provide further information on responsible publishing practices.

I believe I have been a victim of a predatory publisher – where can I find help?

If you would like some additional advice when checking whether a journal or conference is predatory or legitimate, there are a number of avenues to assist:

  • Researchers are encouraged to contact the Liaison Library Team for advice on publishing and use of the journal quality tools or for assistance with legitimacy of publisher emails.
  • Research Integrity Advisors are experienced researchers that can provide guidance or advice pertaining to Research Integrity and may be able to assist with journal knowledge specific to your discipline.
  • HDR Students may wish to ask their supervisors for advice.

UOW maintains a record of incidents of predatory publishing. If you have witnessed your research or name on a predatory publisher website or conference page you are advised to report to uow-researchintegrity@uow.edu.au. Researchers will be asked to capture an image of the website and provide a website link and any background information and will be provided advice on the next steps.

Where can I find guidance on reputable publishers?

The UOW Library provides the Library support for researchers guide which contains tools on how to identify quality journals and conferences.

You may also wish to review TEQSA’s Predatory publishing: A to Z elements Guide (PDF: 125 KB) on qualities and features of reputable publishers and journals

There are many sources of help, support and advice across UOW:

If you have experienced a problem, and you would like a formal investigation to commence, then you should let us know by submitting a formal complaint through the Complaints Management Centre. You are also welcome to contact a Research Integrity Advisor or the Research Integrity and Ethics Unit at uow-researchintegrity@uow.edu.au for advice on making a formal complaint.

Lodging a complaint, responding to a complaint or being involved in a research integrity investigation can be challenging. UOW provides the following services to assist with a range of work and personal issues that may impact on you:

  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides staff with confidential counselling services designed to enhance the emotional, mental and general psychological well-being of employees
  • Student Support Advisers can help with issues affecting student health and welfare and can help research students navigate the range of services and assistance available.
  • UOW Counselling Services is staffed by professional counsellors who offer free short-term confidential psychological intervention for students.