Maintaining research ethics is of paramount importance in academic institutions and Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University (VBSPU) believe that faculty members, researchers, scientists, and studentsentail a commitment to the advancement of research. VBSPU firmly believes in following ethics and honesty in research and maintaining high honesty, transparency, and accountability in research. Hence several measures are established for the prevention of research misconduct failing which would evoke disciplinary actions at various levels.
The Code of Research Ethics determines the basic research ethical standards for faculty members,researchers/scientists, students, and all other stakeholders at the University.VBSPU lays down a code of ethics for research and researchers, which provides guidelines for the responsible conduct of ethical research with the following objectives:
- To ensure that all research activity undertaken by VBSPU complies with agreed national/international ethical standards.
- To promote and inspire researchers to undertake basic and applied research activities which have national and international importance.
Good Research Practices
It is mandatory to maintain proper records of data from each research project whether it is questionnaire-based or experimental research. These records are the property of respective laboratory and university.
In the case of collaborative research, benefits (both in material and publication/patent) of the research should be decided before to starting the research, should be accepted by each collaborator, and well recorded.
It is mandatory for all researchers/scientists to disseminate the research results in an open, transparent, honest, and accurate manner. The University expects all publications to conform to appropriate discipline-specific professional standards. In the multi-authored publications, the contribution of each author should be mentioned in the manuscript. Any individual, who has not made an intellectual contribution to any particular research projectshould not be included as an author of the publication derived from that researchGhost and honorary authorships come under research misconduct and unethical practice and should not be encouraged. In each publication, acknowledgment of the funding agency and declaration of Conflict of Interest (COI) is mandatory. In addition, the contribution of each author should also be mentioned.
All research works of the students such as assignments, project reports, and dissertations should be free from plagiarism. In the manuscript, the author/authors should provide a disclosure statement that he/she did not copy any paragraph/sentences from previously published research work either from his/her own (self-plagiarism) or from other researcher’s published information. University has subscribed to plagiarism checker software (Ouriginal) and each faculty member has free access. Every thesis/manuscript/dissertation has to be checked by Ouriginal softwarebefore submission. Researchers should report data collection methods; analyses and interpretation of resultstransparently and honestly.
Research on humans and human biological materials
All research projects involving human tissue should be cleared by the Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC) of the University, which is constituted according to the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Informed written consent from each participant is necessary beforethe collection of human samples (blood/tissue).
Use of animals in research
The guidelines on rules and regulations of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), India should be followed by the researchers using the animal in their experiments. The animal houses should comply with the best possible standards of hygiene and upkeep. Every researcher has to take permission from Institution’s Animal Ethics Committeebefore starting the experiments.
Working with Chemicals
Every researcher/scientist/student have to follow the recommendations of the Bureau of Indian Standards, Govt. of India for the code of safety for laboratory chemicals.
In the case of working with radiation sources (radioisotopes etc.), researchers have to follow the guidelines set by the Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India. Close monitoring by the Institution Research Ethics committee is necessary to monitor regularly the risk of radiation.
Definition of Research Misconduct
Research misconduct includes not only plagiarism,falsification, and fabrication,falsification, but also includes deception of methodology, data, and negative results and failure to follow a protocol and negligence in following biosafety guidelines, etc.
Research misconduct may be categorized into the following:
- Plagiarism: Plagiarism includes the use of results, data, and language of other’s published work without giving credit /citation. Even the use of data, results, and paraphrasing of own published articles also comes under the category of plagiarism i.e. self- plagiarism.
- Embezzlement of ideas:Without proper citation, using the ideas of other researchers obtained from access while manuscript reviewing, grant proposal reviewing and discussion, etc. also a category of research misconduct.
- Falsification: Addition/ deletion/ misrepresentation of a part of data to generate positive results to present a misleading outcome.
- Fabrication:Reporting ‘results’ of experiments that were never done. This also includes images/ photographs being morphed to reach a particular interpretation.Inclusion of data/information in research publications, thesis, and dissertation reports without performing any experiments
- Fraud:Deliberately highlighting results of own research and avoiding inclusion of other researcher’s results which are contrary to present results.
- Non-compliance of Regulatory Guidelines:Intentional avoidance of the ethical guidelines of human (IEC/ICMR) and animal (MoEFCC) research and also violations of biosafety regulations.
- Inappropriate Authorship:Supervisors are not giving proper credit to students and inclusion of non-contributing individuals as aghost and honorary authors in the manuscript.
- Withholding data from Validation:Researchers hide facts/data and methodology and do not provide data or research materials to the university/journal for verification/validation purposes.
Curbing research misconduct
All the faculty members/ researchers/scientists/students at VBSPU are expected to follow the Code of Ethics of research as described in this policy. University has taken several measures to curb research misconduct:
- University subscription of plagiarism checking software: University has subscribed the plagiarism -checking software named ouriginal.
- Mandatory plagiarism checking: Each student must getperformed for submittingthe project report/dissertation/ research paper to the University/ or any journal publication house.
- Mandatory Similarity Check of thesis submission: The similarity check is also performed onthe thesessubmitted to the University and uploaded on Shodhganga to curb plagiarism.
- Responsibilities of Researchers:
University has also set few responsibilities to the researchers, and the researcher
- should be aware of and adhere to the code of research ethics,
- should employ appropriate research methodology,
- should keep proper and accurate records of all research/experiments/data,
- should disseminate research findings,
- should take responsibility for their contributions to all publications, funding applications, reports, and other representations of their research,
- should mention the contributions of each author in publication,
- should disclose clearly financial and other conflicts of interest,and
- should report to the appropriate authorities about any suspected research misconduct, including fabrication, falsification or plagiarism, and other irresponsible research practices.
- Institution Research Ethics Committee: University has constituted an Institution Research Ethics Committee to look after the implementation of the code of research ethics in the university and affiliating colleges.Responsibilities of the Research Ethics Committee are:
- Topromote research excellence and integrity
- to provide advice and guidance to the VBSPU academic community on all matters of research ethics
- to provide guidance and academic support to researchers/Scientists/students on ethical issues in respect of research and other academic activities.
- to act as an investigative/consultative body for any disputed matter concerning research ethics and conduct
Dealing with Misconduct
The Institution Research Ethics Committee, (IREC) would be set by the Vice Chancellor of the University comprising eminent researcher as chairman from the University and assistant registrar (Academic) as member secretary and at least one external expert. Research misconduct shall be reported to the IREC,which will enquire and take appropriate action against the offending researchers.
Levels of Violations of Good Academic Practice
Two levels of violations of good academic practice can be distinguished.
- Minor Violations:
Such violations may present no risks to subjects, the wider community, or the environment, but they may warrant some penalty or sanction at the institutional level.
- Major Violations:
The level of violation of research integrity is deliberate, such as negligence in handling human and animal samples, more than 20% of plagiarism, fabrication and falsification of data, etc.
|Dr Dharmendra Singh
|Dr Kajal Dey
|Dr Amarendra Singh
Dr Avinash D Pathardikar
Research & Development Cell
|Dr Vandana Rai