Ethics for Research
It is envisaged that all HEIs will have a well-defined policy and establish a well-laid procedure for handling allegations of misconduct in research. For this, there must be a clear definition of misconduct with a sufficient legal foundation that defines the circumstances constituting misconduct and prescribe procedural rules, along with measures to be taken if such allegations are upheld after following due process. The regulations which are enacted by HEIs shall clearly define the responsibility at each step of the procedure, the process for consideration of the available evidence, will define the provision for constitution/ selection of investigation committees members, provisions to rule out conflicts of interest, the procedural principles of the rule of law and Ombudspersons for resolving any disagreement. It is important that the complainant and respondent, both are allowed to be heard at every stage of the process. It should be ensured that information relating to the persons involved in the ongoing process and the findings of the investigation are treated in confidence until it is demonstrated that misconduct has occurred. If the occurrence of misconduct is established and the appropriate disciplinary proceeding is considered, the responsible bodies should also be included in deliberations. HEIs should also ensure the completion of the entire process as fast as possible and the necessary steps should be promptly taken to complete every stage of the procedure within a given appropriate time frame.
It is to be emphasised that every breach of good research practice does not constitute misconduct and the same needs to be distinguished. Only when there is a deliberate or grossly negligent infringement as defined in a set of regulations should be considered scientific misconduct including fabrication or falsification of data, and plagiarism using data from other authors' work.
While this set of rules and regulations centres on all academic aspects of admission, programmes, progress, and graduation, reference must also be made to separate (but linked) institutional codes and regulations that shall affect the life of research students at HEIs, notably:
-Code of Good Academic Research Practices
-The Disciplinary Regulations
- Policy on Harassment Prevention
The registration to the Ph.D. programme at the Higher Educational Institution signifies that she/he has accepted the conditions and guidelines set out in the policies and that she/he commits her/himself to respect all aspects of research throughout the programme on which she/he has registered. To further inform researchers on aspects of research such as academic responsibility and integrity, the Higher Educational Institutions shall from time to time provide courses or workshops on research ethics.
For academic accountability, all the authors must make a genuine, identifiable contribution to the content of a research publication in experimental planning, experimentation, collection/ analysis of data, software, and/or writing of the text. It is also important that all authors have agreed on the final version of the work to be published. Unless it has been explicitly stated otherwise, they all share responsibility for the published work.