Integrity in Research: Information for Graduate Students
The University of Toronto and the research community at large view issues related to academic integrity and research misconduct extremely seriously. Graduate students, like everyone else involved in research, are expected to be familiar with, and adhere to the most current University of Toronto and affiliated hospital guidelines and policies relating to graduate research. Students should refer to the full versions of the policies and guidelines outlined in this document at the links provided.
The Graduate and Life Sciences Education Office acknowledges its debt to Dr. David McKnight, Associate Dean, Equity and Professionalism for providing material in this document.
What is Research Integrity?
Research integrity is the cornerstone of investigation at the University of Toronto. It is learned behaviour and is based on universal principles. The Singapore Statement on Research Integrity, drafted in 2010 at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, articulates 4 principles that are fundamental to the integrity of research.
in all aspects of research
in the conduct of research
Professional courtesy and fairness
in working with others
of research on behalf of others
Graduate students are expected to embrace these principles and use them as a guide to carry out and communicate research discoveries and to utilize these discoveries to improve the health of the population, either directly or indirectly.
The Singapore Statement is reproduced by permission and the entire statement is at the end of this document.
Why is Integrity in Research Important?
Researchers should aspire to the highest level of academic integrity and adhere to codes of behaviour and practices that ensure they develop good habits in their careers as scientists.
The cost of research misconduct is immense;
- it devalues research and undermines science inquiry
- erodes the public’s trust in research
- It is expensive and time consuming to investigate and correct
- It can inflict irreparable damage to reputations and careers
What is Considered Academic Misconduct at the University of Toronto?
Students should build their repertoire of best research and academic practices early in their career. Being familiar with what is considered misconduct will help avoid the pitfalls.
The University of Toronto has two major policies that pertain to both academic misconduct in a broad sense and research misconduct specifically. As a graduate student, you should be familiar with these documents:
The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters states it is an offence for a student to knowingly engage in:
|Type of Offence||Example(s)|
|Forgery, fraud, altering documents||
|Unauthorized Aid (giving or receiving)||
|False or Concocted References||
|Submitting work for which credit has already been received.||
Adapted from: Office of Student Academic Integrity, Faculty of Arts & Science, Academic Integrity: A Quick Guide, accessed October 18, 2011.
While the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters deals directly with fabrication, falsification and plagiarism as related to requirements, such as course work, the Framework to Address Allegations of Research Misconduct pertains to research misconduct of graduate students and faculty. It lists 16 types of research misconduct.