Research integrity

Person in a lab coat in a lab

The responsible conduct of research is fundamental to the research enterprise. It refers to the "the behavior expected of anyone who conducts or supports research activities throughout the life cycle of a research project (i.e., from the formulation of the research question, through the design, conduct, collection of data, and analysis of the research, to its reporting, publication and dissemination, as well as the management of research funds)." In Canada, as an institution that receives funding from the Tri-Agencies, we are governed by the Tri-Agency Framework on the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Researchers shall strive to follow the best research practices honestly, accountably, openly and fairly in the search for and in the dissemination of knowledge. In addition, researchs shall follow the requirements of applicable institutional policies and professional or disciplinary standards and shall comply with applicable laws and regulations.

We expect all members of the University of Waterloo community (faculty, students, and staff) to embody the fundamental values of academic integrity: honest, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.

Through rigorous research integrity policies, we keep the public, fellow researchers, governments, and funding agencies assured of the rigour of our policies and procedures. In other words, we want people to see "University of Waterloo" next to a researcher's name and be satisfied that this is good, trustworthy research.

Irresponsible conduct of research is a violation of the principles of intellectual honesty, including the misappropriation of writings, research, and discoveries of others. You can learn more about the breaches here.

Do you have concerns?

Research integrity is handled through mandatory centralized reporting to the Office of Research, not within Faculties or Departments.

Whether you are a student, staff member, faculty member, Chair or Dean, you have both a right and a responsibility to report any instances of irresponsible conduct of research you uncover using the process described in the integrity in research administrative guidelines (PDF) or Article 14 of the faculty memorandum of agreement, whichever applies to the person(s) involved.

However, before reporting the allegations, you should ensure that this allegation would likely be considered to be an irresponsible conduct of research and not another form of academic misconduct or a more general performance issue.

Do you have questions?

If you require further assistance or have any questions concerning Waterloo's guidelines or processes to manage allegations of research misconduct, please contact Ian Milligan, Associate Vice-President, Research Oversight and Analysis, 519-888-4567, ext. 42775.