AAMRI submission to the Review of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
The Australian code for the responsible conduct of research puts forward the broad principles that characterise an honest, ethical and conscientious research culture. It outlines the expectations for the conduct and the dissemination of research, and provides a mechanism to assure funders of research of the appropriate and proper use of funding. The Code provides guidance on how to manage cases where these expectations have not been met, and where the integrity of research is under question.
The current version of the Code has been in place since 2007, and with changes to the research landscape (both nationally and internationally) as well as the benefit of nearly 10 years of operation of the Code, work has been undertaken to revise and update the Code.
The draft revised Code released for public consultation proposes substantial changes to the Code. The revised Code is less prescriptive and seeks to achieve a better balance between a rules-based and principles-based Code.
AAMRI has put forward a submission to the NHMRC public consultation on the proposed changes to the Code. Overall, the new approach to the Code is a great improvement and provides greater clarity and guidance to institutions, researchers and members of the community on how to ensure the good conduct of research. AAMRI’s submission outlines a number of areas where the Code could be improved further. In particular, AAMRI’s submissions calls for the retention of the term ‘research misconduct’ within the Code, and for external oversight of investigations into potential breaches of the Code.