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Research Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This policy supports Charles Sturt University's Research Strategy and sets out the University's commitment to: 

  1. supporting and delivering research excellence
  2. furthering the public good and our commitment to our ethos of 'yindyamarra winhanganha' (the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in), and 
  3. fostering a culture of responsible research conduct aligned to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

(2) This policy is intended to ensure that:

  1. research activities conducted by Charles Sturt University (the University) comply with all standards, legislation, regulations and funding requirements for research, including but not limited to the following: 
    1. Higher Education Standards Framework, particularly sections 4.1 Research and 4.2 Research Training
    2. Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
    3. Copyright Act 1968
  2. research in areas of known ethical complexity with respect to human and animal participation is considered, approved in accordance with:
    1. National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2023
    2. AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research
    3. Animal Research Act 1985 and associated regulations
    4. Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes 8th Edition 2013 (Updated 2021)
  3. research involving sensitive or dangerous materials is managed appropriately in accordance with:
    1. Defence Trade Controls Act 2012
    2. Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018
    3. Gene Technology Act 2000
    4. Radiation Control Act 1990 and associated regulations.
  4. credit for authorship and contributions to research are fairly and accurately stated, and
  5. data gathered in research is well managed across the research lifecycle so that it is preserved and accessible in accordance with legislation and agreements. 

Scope

(3) This policy applies to anyone who conducts, supervises or supports research as a member of the University community or on behalf of the University, including:

  1. staff, adjunct staff, students or visitors to the University
  2. consultants, contractors, and
  3. staff and students of partner organisations. 

(4) Students enrolled in higher degree by research courses should also refer to the Higher Degree by Research Policy

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Section 2 - Policy

Part A - Research governance

(5) Academic Senate is responsible for the governance of research and research training.

(6) The University Research Committee is the subcommittee of Academic Senate that oversees the research functions of the University and provides advice on all matters relating to research performance, research integrity and academic governance of research training activities.

(7) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) has established research integrity committees to oversee compliance and training requirements. These committees include the:

  1. Animal Care and Ethics Committee
  2. Defence Trade Controls Committee
  3. Human Research Ethics Committee
  4. Institutional Biosafety Committee
  5. Radiation Safety Committee.

(8) The research and teaching activities that require approval from the ethics and safety committees are described in ‘Part C – Research compliance, ethics and safety’ in this policy, the Research Integrity, Ethics and Compliance website and the committee’s memberships and terms of reference.

(9) Delegation Schedule E - Academic and Research lists the authorities conferred by the University Council regarding research approvals.

Part B - Research conduct and misconduct

(10)  The University has adopted as its code for conduct of research the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Code).

(11) All researchers are responsible for ensuring that research meets the standards defined by the Code. This includes those who lead research and/or supervise research projects of students in coursework, honours, or higher degree by research courses. 

(12) Research supervisors are responsible for: 

  1. modelling ethical research behaviour, and
  2. guiding and supporting student development as responsible and ethical researchers.

(13) All staff have a responsibility to maintain a positive research culture. The following staff are expected to show leadership in establishing and maintaining high standards for the conduct of research:

  1. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  2. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
  3. Dean, Graduate Research
  4. Associate Deans, Research.
  5. Heads of School.
  6. Executive Directors of research institutes.

(14) Researchers must familiarise themselves with the Code and:

  1. conduct their research in accordance with the Code, and
  2. seek advice from a research integrity advisor if they are uncertain of their obligations under the Code.

(15) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) will ensure that research staff and students receive information and training on responsible research conduct, including:

  1. research methods
  2. research authorship procedures
  3. research integrity and ethics
  4. compliance matters relating to the subject areas of the research integrity committees
  5. confidentiality
  6. research data management
  7. peer review, and
  8. development of publication and dissemination plans.

(16) Where any person within the scope of this policy breaches the Code or fails to abide by the Code, it will be addressed in accordance with the Research Misconduct Procedure

(17) All members of the University community within the scope of this policy have a responsibility to report any suspected breach of the Code. Any person who observes or suspects that a breach of the Code has occurred must raise an allegation or seek advice as directed in the Research Misconduct Procedure.

(18) The University will receive reports on research integrity and take action to address any underlying causes of breaches of the Code.

(19) The Research Misconduct Procedure states the detailed requirements for investigating, recording and reporting allegations of breaches of the Code.

Part C - Research compliance, ethics and safety

Research involving foreign interactions

(20) Research activities with international research partners, international funding, or other involvement of foreign individuals, groups or entities must undertake due diligence and risk assessments in accordance with the Countering Foreign Interference Procedure.

Research compliance with the Defence Trade Controls Act

(21) The University and researchers must ensure that research and dissemination of research outputs do not breach the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012.

(22) Before they supply or publish any goods, software or technology relating to their research, researchers must:

  1. check whether the goods, software or technology are listed as controlled technology on the Defence Strategic Goods Lists
  2. seek advice from the University’s Defence Trade Controls Committee if they believe a permit is required, and
  3. apply to the Defence Trade Controls Committee for a permit.

(23) University staff and researchers who meet any of the criteria listed in the Defence Trade Controls Procedure must undertake the training specified in the procedure. 

(24) The Defence Trade Controls Procedure states detailed requirements for researchers in identifying controlled goods, software or technology, and applying for permits. 

Research ethics

Research involving human participants

(25) Approval and conduct of research involving human participants is governed by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2023.

(26) All research involving human participants or their data, including research activities in coursework subjects, must receive ethics approval from the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) before the research begins.

(27) The 'Human Research Ethics Committee' - Membership and Terms of Reference state the membership, functions and reporting responsibilities of this committee.

Research and teaching involving animals

(28) The use of animals for teaching and research is governed by the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes.

(29) All research and teaching activities involving animals must receive ethics approval from the University’s Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC) before the activity begins. 

(30) Everyone involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes must accept responsibility and afford respect to animals throughout the animal's lifetime, including but not limited to: 

  1. acquisition
  2. transport
  3. breeding
  4. housing
  5. husbandry
  6. use of the animal in a project, and
  7. provisions for the animal at the conclusion of their use.

(31) The 'Animal Care and Ethics Committee' - Membership and Terms of Reference state the membership, functions and reporting responsibilities of this committee.

Research safety

(32) All research must be risk assessed, approved and managed appropriately, with particular attention to the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy and its procedures, and other legislated compliance requirements.

(33) Research related activities, including field trips, must have a documented risk management plan approved by the relevant delegated officer.

Human biological specimens and genetically modified material

(34) All research and teaching activities involving human biological specimens (blood and other materials of human origin), must comply with the requirements of the Biosafety Manual

(35) All research and teaching activities involving genetically modified material must receive approval from the University Institutional Biosafety Committee before the activity begins. 

(36) The Biosafety Manual states detail requirements for researchers and subject coordinators in applying for approvals and following relevant safety and compliance requirements.

(37) The Biosafety Committee - Membership and Terms of Reference state the membership, functions and reporting responsibilities of this committee.

Radiation safety

(38) All research and teaching activities involving radioactive materials, irradiating apparatus and high power laser devices, must receive approval from the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) before the activity begins.

(39) The 'Radiation Safety Committee' - Membership and Terms of Reference state the membership, functions and reporting responsibilities of this committee.

Part D - Research funding and agreements

(40) Delegation Schedule E - E39 sets out the authorities to approve agreements to receive funding from external funding agencies or other third parties with respect to research.

(41) Special care should be taken when considering agreements or arrangements that may:

  1. because of the source, conditions, or intended purpose, potentially expose the University to adverse publicity or not aligned with University values 
  2. expose the University to the risk of foreign interference
  3. restrict the freedom of speech or academic freedoms of University staff or students
  4. involve the following industries that the University sees as being in conflict with its values: 
    1. Organisations with exposure to modern slavery.
    2. Manufacture of tobacco.
    3. Gambling.
    4. Manufacture and distribution of armaments.
    5. Coal seam gas and fossil fuels.

(42) In particular, any research funded by the tobacco industry must meet the following criteria:

  1. The research does not have the object of promoting the use of tobacco products.
  2. The name of the University will not be associated directly or by inference with advertising endorsing or promoting tobacco products.
  3. Agreements specify how the sponsorship and findings of the research will be publicised.
  4. Agreements establish who will control the research and dissemination of the findings, ensuring that academic freedom of inquiry and expression are not compromised.

(43) Where research is funded all or in part by philanthropic funds or donations, they must comply with the Philanthropic Donations and Gifts Received Policy.

Part E - Research data management 

(44) Before they begin gathering data, researchers will:

  1. ensure they understand their legal, contractual and legislative obligations in managing and using data in research activities, and
  2. develop a research data management plan in accordance with the Research Data Management Procedure and guidelines.

(45) Researchers will then follow and maintain the Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) across the term of the research and the period for which the data is maintained.

(46) For research conducted by or on behalf of the University, the University will provide access to facilities for secure storage of research data and for maintaining records of where it is stored.

(47) Research data and primary materials created, collected or curated by University researchers should be accessible for later use as appropriate unless access needs to be restricted for ethical, privacy, legal, intellectual property or confidentiality reasons.

(48) The Research Data Management Procedure states detailed responsibilities of researchers for management, storage, security, retention and sharing of research data.

Part F - Research authorship, outputs and dissemination

Research authorship

(49) The Code states that an author of a research output must:

  1. have ’made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to the research and its output’ and
  2. agree to be named as an author. 

(50) Researchers preparing a research output must:

  1. offer authorship to all people who meet the criteria for authorship as defined in the Research Authorship, Publication and Dissemination Procedure
  2. list as authors only those persons who meet those criteria and who have agreed to be listed as authors, and
  3. ensure that all those who have contributed to the research, facilities or materials are properly acknowledged.

(51) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will decide all disputes about authorship that cannot be resolved through collegial discussion or mediation.

(52) The Research Authorship, Publication and Dissemination Procedure states detailed requirements and guidelines for determining authorship and author order, and for resolving authorship disputes.

Peer Review

(53) Peer review processes are important to academic and scientific endeavour and the University supports participation of its researchers in the peer review processes.  The University will provide ongoing training and education that promotes and supports responsible research conduct and assists all researchers in relevant aspects of peer review processes.

(54) All peer review must be undertaken in line with the requirements of the Code and in light of the advice provided by NHMRC’s Peer Review guide. Any peer review must be:

  1. undertaken by those who have appropriate expertise
  2. undertaken with interests declared and any actual, potential, or perceived conflict of interest managed
  3. conducted in way that treats others involved with research with fairness and respect, and
  4. conducted in a way that is fair, rigorous, and timely, and maintains confidentiality of the content.

(55) Researchers whose work is undergoing peer review must not seek to influence the process or outcomes.

(56) Peer review undertaken that does not meet the above requirements or otherwise breaches the Code should be dealt with under the Research Misconduct Procedure.

Research outputs and access 

(57) CSU Research Output (CRO) is the University's system for recording the research outputs of staff and higher degree by research students. 

  1. Research active staff must create and maintain a public CRO account.
  2. Research outputs that meet the criteria and requirements for the Research Outputs Collection must be submitted to CRO.
  3. Higher degree by research final theses must be submitted to CRO in accordance with the Higher Degree by Research Policy.

(58) Research outputs deposited in CRO will be open access, except where this is restricted by:

  1. the author’s agreement with the publisher
  2. the agreement of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), or
  3. requirements to:
    1. preserve confidentiality
    2. respect culturally sensitive information
    3. prevent the breach of Defence Trade Controls
    4. prevent the breach of copyright such as third-party content or publisher agreements
    5. protect commercially sensitive information, or 
    6. restrict dissemination of information that might be used for cyber-crime.

Intellectual property generated by research 

(59) The Intellectual Property Policy states the University's requirements for management, protection, registration and commercialisation of intellectual property generated by the research of staff and students of the University and visitors to the University.

Part G - External research work and partnerships 

(60) The Outside Professional Activities Policy states the requirements for University staff who undertake research for clients outside the University where that activity is additional to their allocated research workload for the University and/or undertaken in a private capacity.

(61) The University Partnerships Policy states requirements for research partnerships where a school or research team collaborates with an external organisation such as a business, industry body or another tertiary institution. 

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Section 3 - Procedures

(62) The following procedures support this policy:

  1. Countering Foreign Interference Procedure
  2. Defence Trade Controls Procedure
  3. Radiation Safety Procedure
  4. Research Authorship, Publication and Dissemination Procedure 
  5. Research Data Management Procedure
  6. Research Misconduct Procedure
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Section 4 - Guidelines

(63) The following guideline supports this policy:

  1. Defence Trade Controls Publication and Supply Guidelines
  2. Research Data Management Guidelines
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Section 5 - Glossary 

(64) This policy uses the following terms:

  1. Code – means the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018.
  2. Coursework course – as defined in the policy library glossary.
  3. Defence and Strategic Goods List – means the document published, in accordance with the Customs Act 1901, that specifies the goods, software or technology that are regulated by the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012.
  4. Higher degree by research (HDR) course – as defined in the policy library glossary.
  5. Peer review – means, as defined by the Code, “the impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field.”
  6. Research – as defined by the Australian Research Council, means the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative. 
  7. Research data – means data collected, generated or used in research, including facts, observations, computer program results, statistical analyses, measurements or experiences on which an argument, theory, test or hypothesis, or another research output is based. Data may be numerical, textual, descriptive, visual or tactile; raw or processed, and may be held in any format or medium.
  8. Research integrity advisor – means a person or persons with knowledge of the code and institutional processes appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) to promote the responsible conduct of research and provide advice to those with concerns or complaints about potential breaches of the code. 
  9. Research output – means the work that is published, exhibited, broadcast or presented to disseminate findings from research. These may be in the form of journal articles, books, book chapters, conference papers, research reports, web-based publications, multi-media work, works of art, performances, compositions, software or research data. 
  10. Researcher – means any person within the scope of this policy who plans, proposes, leads, conducts, supports or prepares outputs of research.