Progress report on concordat on research ethics broadly supportive of actions taken so far

The group Universities UK has published a progress report on the concordat on research integrity that it developed in 2012. The report notes that the concordat was well received by the research community and that many universities have already introduced new policies, but greater transparency is still needed on the kinds of actions institutes are taking.

The concordat was drawn up in collaboration with research councils and the Wellcome Trust at the request of the government following a 2011 report on peer review. It includes five commitments that should be upheld by researchers, the institutions that employ them and the bodies that fund them to support research integrity, and ensure cases of misconduct are dealt with.

The commitments are currently included in the guidelines on the governance of good research conduct by Research Councils UK (RCUK) – the body that oversees the UK’s seven main research councils. They are also written into the terms and conditions of RCUK grants.

‘The research councils are pleased to see that generally the recommendations in the concordat have been taken up with enthusiasm by universities,’ said Tony Peatfield, corporate affairs director at the Medical Research Council, in a statement. ‘Research integrity is vital to ensure that all stakeholders have confidence in UK research.’