Research Integrity

Research Integrity and Good Research

This overview of themes, actions, resources and provision, developed by Research Services and then ‘localised’ for Social Sciences, is designed to help researchers not only to abide by the principles set out in the University’s Academic Integrity in Research: Code of Practice and Procedure but also to engage in a broader dialogue about research integrity and good practice in research. 

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Suggested action

At the start of the research, familiarise yourself with information about University resources available.

Resources / web links

Research integrity leaflet (PDF) – an introduction to the responsible conduct of research 

Training Courses 

Research Integrity Online – an online introductory course.  Choose the ‘Social and Behavioural Sciences’ version. 

Students n.b.: you are usually expected to have completed this before applying for Transfer of Status.

Suggested action

Discuss the University’s code and what this means in practice for researchers.

Resources / web links

University code of practice

Research integrity and ethics – links to the University’s relevant policies, procedures and guidance

Suggested action

1) Identify and be familiar with any discipline-specific, funder-specific (e.g. RCUK) or professional codes of conduct relevant to your work.


2) If you are funded, be familiar with any funding terms and conditions.


3) Be familiar with any faculty, departmental or divisional policy documents relating to the conduct of your research.

Resources / web links

RCUK Policy and Guidelines on Governance of Good Research Conduct 

ESRC, Framework for Research Ethics

Suggested action

1) Understand, in general, requirements for a person to be listed as an author of a publication.

2) Reflect on and discuss what the publication strategy will be for the research project, including criteria for authorship.

3) Ensure you are aware of the authorship practices within your own discipline and any guidelines set by the journals in which you hope to publish.

4) Discuss authorship throughout the project, especially prior to work being prepared or submitted for publication. Agree on authorship and attribution for each publication.

Resources / web links

Publication and authorship  - University guidance

Open Access at Oxford – guidance for researchers

Plagiarism – what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid unintentional plagiarism

Training Courses

Bodleian Iskills courses:

1)    Open Access Oxford: What’s happening? (monthly dates)

2)    Open Access: Authors, copyright and open access – making it work for you

3)    Open Access: Your thesis, copyright, and ORA

Suggested action

1) Discuss with your supervisor the concept of `conflict of interest’ in research.

2) Read the University’s policy and discuss how any potential conflicts associated with your research might be declared and managed.

Resources / web links

University guidance on conflict of interest
University Policy on Conflict of Interest


Suggested action

If your research involves human participants or personal data or materials, be familiar with the University’s procedures for ethical review.

Resources / web links

Policy on the Ethical Conduct of research involving human participants and personal data

Research ethics and human participants – an introduction leaflet

Process for seeking ethical review of such research

Training Courses

Introduction to Research Ethics at Oxford

Suggested action

Research and discuss whether any permissions are required before the research project commences (including any relevant training which might be necessary), for example, permissions from communities, institutions or government agencies


n.b. This should include projects involving fieldwork overseas.

Suggested action

Plan and discuss how research data and records generated will be collected, stored, and managed.

Consider the following general areas:

  • Where these will be stored and how they will be identified
  • How to keep data and records secure and protected from damage/destruction
  • Accessibility
  • Confidentiality/privacy issues, including Data Protection Act requirements
  • Archival/long-term value.

Other areas may specifically apply:

  • If the research is externally-funded, are there terms and conditions relating to how data is collected and stored?
  • Research involving human participants (incl. consent forms, questionnaires).
Resources / web links

Research Data Management  

University policy on management of data supporting research outputs

Research funder requirements

University policy on Data Protection


Training Courses

Bodleian iSkills

Working with sensitive research data in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Introduction to MANTRA (online training course) for Digital Research Data Management


External courses

MANTRA online training course for managing digital data

Suggested action

1) Discuss what intellectual property (IP) may be generated in the course of the project.

2) How this can be protected/exploited.

Intellectual property (IP)

Resources / web links

Oxford University Innovation - Information for Oxford Researchers  

Suggested action

Ensure you have completed a local health and safety induction and is aware of:

  • who the relevant health and safety representatives are
  • Emergency procedures, particularly fire, first aid and incident reporting
  • Supervisory arrangements, particularly for out of hours or lone working.
  • Safeguarding Code of Practice

Discuss health and safety issues specific to the student’s research, eg. fieldwork, overseas travel etc. Ensure risk assessments covering the hazards they are likely to encounter are discussed or completed.

Resources / web links

Supervisors’ Responsibilities

Health and safety induction training policy, including Safety in Fieldwork

Safeguarding ‘at risk’ adults and children policy


Training Courses

Check with your department for any local safety courses

Emergency First Aid for Fieldworkers

Fieldwork Safety Overseas (most suitable for expedition-type fieldwork)

Social Sciences Fieldwork Safety Guidance

Suggested action

Discuss where advice may be sought and the procedures for dealing with queries, concerns or complaints about the research.

Suggested action

Discuss with student any further training needs related to the research and professional development more generally.

Resources / web links

Social Sciences Researcher Development

Social Sciences Research Support

Support for researchers  – gateway to services available

Suggested action

Discuss how regularly to meet and set up meetings.

Suggested action

Discuss with whether working with a mentor would be useful

Resources / web links

Mentoring – Oxford Learning Institute