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:
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
- Collaborative Research
Further guides will be released over coming months on the subjects of research supervision, collaborative research, publication and dissemination of research, and the role of research integrity advisors.
Institutions are reminded that until these guides are released, institutions and researchers should continue to defer to relevant sections of the 2007 Code.
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.
The ARC Open Access Policy took effect from 1 January 2013. The Policy applies to all Research Outputs arising from ARC Funded Research and their Metadata. This policy does not apply to pre-prints and comparable resources which are already publicly available, and research data and research data outputs. Research data arising from ARC Funded Research are addressed separately under the ARC’s data management requirements.
Any Research Outputs arising from an ARC supported research Project must be made openly accessible within a twelve (12) month period from the date of publication.
In cases where researchers may not be able to meet the requirements because of current legal or contractual obligations, Final Reports must provide reasons why Research Outputs derived from a Project, Award, or Fellowship have not been made openly accessible within the twelve (12) month period.
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.
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).
The National Principles of Child Safe Organisations aim to provide a nationally consistent approach to creating organisational cultures that foster child safety and wellbeing.