Codes and Guidelines
The ARC is committed to the highest standards of integrity in all aspects of research it supports. This includes ensuring that ARC-funded research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards; as well as the development and support of a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity. To encourage responsible research practices, all Proposals and ARC-funded research Projects are either recommended or required to conform to the principles outlined in the following and their successor documents, as stipulated within the scheme-specific funding rules:
- The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018)
- Supplementary Guides supporting implementation of the Code
- ARC Research Integrity Policy
- National Principles of Intellectual Property Management for Publicly Funded Research
- The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007)—Updated 2018
- The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2023)—Effective 1 January 2024
- Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders
- AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research (the AIATSIS Code)
- The Australia Council for the Arts, Indigenous Cultural Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Music, Writing, Visual Arts, Media Arts and Performing Arts (2007)
- The Australian Code For The Care And Use Of Animals For Scientific Purposes 8th edition ( 2013)
- Other guidelines relating to the use of animals for scientific purposes, as promulgated by the NHMRC
In June 2018, the ARC, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Universities Australia (the co-authors) issued the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 (the Code) and the Guide to Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the Code (the Investigation Guide).
- Message from the co-authors about the release of the revised Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
The Code articulates the broad principles that characterise an honest, ethical and conscientious research culture. It outlines the expectations for the conduct of research in Australia or research conducted under the auspices of Australian institutions. The new Investigation Guide will assist institutions to manage, investigate and resolve complaints about potential breaches of the Code.
The 2018 Code and Investigation Guide replace the 2007 version of the Code. NHMRC, ARC and Universities Australia expect institutions to meet the requirements of the 2018 Code and Investigation Guide by no later than 1 July 2019.
- Further information relevant to the implementation of the 2018 Code and Investigation Guide is available on the NHMRC website.
The ARC, NHMRC and Universities Australia are developing a series of supplementary guides designed to support institutions and researchers to implement and comply with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Code).
The following guides have been released and can be downloaded from the NHMRC’s website:
- Management of Data and Information in Research
- Peer Review
- Disclosure of Interests and Management of Conflicts of Interest
- Research Supervision
- Collaborative Research
- Publication and Dissemination of Research
- Research Integrity Advisors
The policy outlines requirements for institutions, and individuals engaged in ARC business, to report to the ARC research integrity matters, and the action the ARC may take in response to reported breaches of the Code. It also describes how the ARC can refer concerns or complaints to research institutions, who, in accordance with the Code, are responsible for managing and investigating potential breaches of the Code.
The National Principles of Intellectual Property (IP) Management for Publicly Funded Research (the National Principles) were developed by a working party of the Australian Government’s Coordinating Committee on Innovation.
The National Principles were developed to assist researchers, research managers and research institutions develop best practice in identifying, protecting and managing IP, thus ensuring appropriate commercial outcomes from publicly funded research.
The intention of the National Principles is simply to improve the commercial outcomes from publicly funded research where a commercial outcome is appropriate. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) publicly announced the adoption of these National Principles in April 2013.
Jointly developed by the ARC, the NHMRC and UA, the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research consists of a series of guidelines on ethical conduct in human research and is intended for use by:
- any researcher conducting research with human participants;
- any member of an ethical review body reviewing that research;
- those involved in research governance; and
- potential research participants.
The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2023 was issued on 29 June 2023. The 2023 National Statement will take effect, and replace, the 2007 National Statement from 1 January 2024. Co-authored by NHMRC, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Universities Australia (UA), the National Statement is Australia’s principal human research guideline setting out the requirements for the ethical design, review and conduct of human research in Australia.
The 2023 National Statement and a summary of amendments can be found on NHMRC's website. The major changes in this update are to Chapter 2.1 and Section 5.
Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders
Developed by NHMRC, Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders provides a set of principles to ensure research is safe, respectful, responsible, high quality, of benefit to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people and communities.
The Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies embody the best standards of ethical research and human rights. It is essential that Indigenous people are full participants in research projects that concern them, share an understanding of the aims and methods of the research, and share the results of this work. At every stage, research with and about Indigenous peoples must be founded on a process of meaningful engagement and reciprocity between the researcher and Indigenous people.
The Australia Council for the Arts, Indigenous Cultural Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Music, Writing, Visual Arts, Media Arts and Performing Arts (2007)
- Music: Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Music
- Writing: Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Writing
- Visual Arts: Protocols for producing Indigenous Australian Visual Arts
- Media Arts: Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Media Arts
- Performing Arts: Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Performing Arts
The ARC recognises that the Protocols may also have much broader application, and, as applicable, advises that any researchers accessing, using or reproducing music, literature, arts, images or ceremonies of Indigenous peoples, or Indigenous cultural materials conduct their research in accordance with these protocols.
Endorsed by the NHMRC, the ARC, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and UA the purpose of the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes is to promote the ethical, humane and responsible care and use of animals used for scientific purposes. The ethical framework and governing principles set out in the Code provide guidance for investigators, teachers, institutions, animal ethics committees and all people involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. The Code encompasses all aspects of the care and use of animals for scientific purposes where the aim is to acquire, develop or demonstrate knowledge or techniques in any area of science.
Other guidelines relating to the use of animals for scientific purposes, as promulgated by the NHMRC
NHMRC provides additional guidelines and information for Animal Ethics Committees and researchers, relating to particular fields of research or types of animals. These guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition (2013). They are available on NHMRC’s website and include, but are not limited to:
- Guidelines to promote the wellbeing of animals used for scientific purposes: The assessment and alleviation of pain and distress in research animals (2008); and
- A Guide to the care and use of Australian native mammals in research and teaching (2014).