Integrity in research

Research integrity is an aspect of moral character and experience. It involves above all a commitment to intellectual honesty and personal responsibility for ones actions and to a range of practices that characterize responsible research conduct.

Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.

A summary of what is meant by research integrity and links to further guidance about specific integrity policy and procedures. Conducting research with integrity means doing research in a way which allows others to have trust and confidence in your methods, your findings and any publications based on your research. it is important that everyone involved in doing research continues to meet high standards of rigour and integrity.

Research integrity includes:

  • the use of honest and verifiable methods in proposing, performing, and evaluating research.
  • reporting research results with particular attention to adherence to rules, regulations, guidelines.
  • Following commonly accepted professional codes or norms.

Research Integrity may be obvious and seem like ‘common sense’, or it may be seen as restrictive of innovative research. Research Integrity is an extremely important, for a number of reasons:

  • Knowledge base.
  • Publishing.
  • Government backing and funding.
  • REF Environment Statement.
  • Effect on Post Graduate and Early Career Researchers.
  • Supporting innovative research.

Integrity is honesty and probity within the conduct of qualitative research and underpins ethical practice in all the activities that comprise data collection and analysis. It is characterized by openness and wholeness on the part of the researcher and can be understood as a type of ‘straightforwardness’ or ‘moral uprightness’ that rejects intentional duplicity and deceit. Integrity is central to ethical research principles that focus on the responsibility of researchers to do no harm, to gain informed consent from participants and to represent respondents’ views as accurately as possible, as part of the epistemological process.


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