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Module 3: Conducting Research Responsibly – Protecting Yourself, Your Research, and Your University

3.2 Publication and dissemination of research findings

Publications credit a researcher's activities, allowing an evaluation of the contribution to your discipline to be made by funding bodies as well as attracting investigators to your work either as peers and colleagues or as potential new recruits. In many respects you have the freedom to publish however and whatever you see fit, but the way this is achieved requires attention to the responsibilities of publication. A review of Section 4, Publication and Dissemination of Research Findings, in the Code will indicate that there are both institutional and individual responsibilities.

Your university should:

  • Promote the responsible publication and dissemination of research findings
  • Protect confidentiality and manage IP
  • Support communication of research findings to the wider public.

As a researcher you should:

  • Disseminate all research findings
  • Ensure accuracy of results
  • Disclose multiple submissions of research findings
  • Obtain permission for republishing
  • Disclose research support accurately
  • Register clinical trials
  • Cite publications accurately
  • Protect IP and manage confidentiality
  • Responsibly communicate research findings to the wider public.

You can see that many of these are a shared responsibility. It is worth considering here whether your research is sufficiently documented for your university and your co-investigators to be aware of any IP outcomes, the sources of research support, and those to whom you owe a responsibility of information.

Are your research meetings around findings and their publication sufficiently open – to all contributors – for all to be aware of the accuracy of the results and that the interpretation is not biased (possibly leading to the omission of contributory information)?

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