1. The University of Bath is a leading research university committed to maintaining the highest standards of research excellence and integrity. This is the fifth University statement setting out the actions and initiatives we have undertaken to sustain and further enhance integrity in our research.
2. The University of Bath fully upholds the principles outlined in The Concordat to Support Research Integrity (Universities UK, July 2012).
3. We have responded to the consultation on the revised Concordat and participated in the 2nd UK Research Integrity Forum hosted by UUK.
4. We have a long-standing commitment to high standards in research ethics and integrity, which is reflected in our University Strategies and Code of Ethics. As a part of our commitment we have drawn upon the Leiden Manifesto and the Metric Tide to develop our own set of principles outlining our approach to research assessment and management, including the responsible use of quantitative indicators. The current Research Strategy 2016-21 includes a key objective: 'To maintain the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research and to have appropriate policies, systems and procedures in place to ensure compliance with the Concordat to support research integrity’.We are committed to providing an appropriate framework to support a research culture that is underpinned by research integrity. This involves, in part, providing clear guidance about policies, procedures and responsibilities, training and supporting researchers according to their responsibilities, and monitoring the implementation of such policies and procedures.
5. At our University, Research Integrity is supported by the following groups: the University Ethics Committee, the University Research Committee, the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body, the Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee, the Psychology Ethics Committee and the Research Ethics Approval Committee for Health.
6. At a School/Department level the DREOs (Departmental Research Ethics Officers) and the Sponsorship Facilitators provide help and advice on specific projects. The Deans of each Faculty (or School where applicable), work with the Heads of Department/Division, and have the overall responsibility for the performance of academics and researchers in their respective Faculties/School.
8. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research is the contact for any research integrity queries including research misconduct.
9. The Library delivers a host of workshops, for staff and students, on research data management, preventing fraud; handling sensitive data; gaining consent for data sharing; citing data sources, responsible use of bibliometrics and avoiding ‘predatory’ publishers.
10. Activities that we have undertaken to support and raise awareness of research integrity in 2018/19 include:
- Our Institute for Mathematical Innovation hosted a campus-wide thematic semester on ‘Machine Learning: Algorithms and Ethics’. We are looking forward to hosting the Institute for Policy Research’s annual symposium on ‘This is Tomorrow’ which will address some of the ongoing debates affecting our future from China’s growing dominance in the world, to global security, AI and ethics. The Research4Good programme lead by our School of Management has released a series of YouTube videos which include, amongst other topics, a presentation from Dr Tahiru Liedong on 'How business schools can fight corruption in Africa’. AWERB host a public Lecture by Dr Elliot Lilley, Senior Scientific Officer, Research Animals Department, RSPCA, in November 2018 on ‘Reporting animal experiments: why it’s important to be specific about the specifics’. Through the GW4 group, quarterly meetings are held to share best practice and training amongst technicians working in animal facilities. Dr Joanna Bryson, from the Department of Computer Science was appointed to Google’s, now defunct, global advisory council to offer guidance on the ethical use of AI and related technologies. We submitted a successful application to run the UKRI Center for Doctoral Training in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI and this is currently recruiting
- We have appointed a new Chair to the University Ethics Committee, Professor Christopher Eccleston, Department for Health
- We have confirmed that we are compliant with the Concordat for Research Integrity and have published a summary of how we responded to each Commitment
- We are continuing to review our Research Integrity and Ethics and held a user groups meeting, in April 2019, to ensure that our materials stay relevant, up to date and are easy to find
- We have monitored that there is an annual slot for research integrity discussions at Departmental staff meetings
- We have continued our programme, now bi-annual, of development for Research Ethics Officers and others with an increased emphasis on research integrity in addition to research ethics. The most recent session included a presentation on the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, another on GDPR and two case studies
- The Electronic Environment Project has now been completed and the fully automated and electronic environment to support an improved research proposal and award management process is now live. This provides increased confidence in our institutional requirement that all funding bids are subject to an ethical review process before submission. We have now entered phase II of this project and have started to review our digital presence to re-build the online forms with the view to improve user experience, reporting and monitoring
- We have launched a light touch review of the current processes and governance underpinning the management of research integrity (including research ethics and research misconduct) at the University. The review will focus on 3 main areas: compliance, communications and governance
- There was one investigation into research misconduct subsequent to a complaint under the Dignity & Respect policy. There was a finding of misconduct under the Dignity and Respect policy but subsequent investigation into research misconduct found that there was no further misconduct. There is an annual report to the Ethics Committee in October on any allegations during the previous academic year
11. The University is a subscriber to the UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO).
Version number: 5
Approval date: 13 July 2019
Approved by: Council