28 June 2018

In June 2018, the CEOs of the ARC, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Universities Australia released a revised Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018 Code) and Guide to managing and investigating potential breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Investigation Guide).

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research  is a crucial component of the framework for the responsible conduct of research in Australia.

The clearly-articulated principles and responsibilities in the 2018 Code will promote greater consistency across the research sector and build upon the foundation laid by the 2007 Code. It will provide assurance that the Australian research effort continues to be underpinned by honesty, rigour, transparency and accountability, and that researchers treat each other fairly and show respect for the people, communities and environments impacted by their research. It will help to ensure that Australian research continues to be held in the highest regard internationally, and provides all Australians with confidence in publicly-funded research.

The 2018 Code and Investigation Guide are the result of an extensive review and consultation process. The Code presents eight principles of responsible research and 29 key responsibilities for researchers and institutions. The supporting Investigation Guide describes, in detail, processes for managing and investigating potential breaches of the Code that can be applied to the range of research contexts in Australia—from small medical institutions to large universities, and across all research disciplines. It aims to ensure procedural fairness to all parties.

Supplementary guidance documents are being developed to support implementation of the principles and responsibilities in the 2018 Code. The ARC is also revising its Research Integrity and Research Misconduct Policy and, in conjunction with NHMRC, the Australian Research Integrity Committee Framework, to ensure these documents are aligned to the 2018 Code and Investigation Guide.

It is expected that all institutions will meet the requirements of the 2018 Code by 1 July 2019.

Further information on implementation of the 2018 Code and Investigation Guide can be found on the NHMRC website.