The Concordat to Support Research Integrity is the UK’s national policy statement on research integrity. Devised by a broad group of Signatories, with expert assistance from UKRIO, the Concordat sets out five commitments that those engaged in research must implement to help ensure that the highest standards of rigour and integrity are maintained. These key commitments apply to researchers, their employers and funding bodies alike, and are a condition of grants from many research funders, including UK Research & Innovation.
The Concordat allows for flexibility in how its commitments are implemented – it does not set out a restrictive ‘one size fits all’ approach. However, it can be challenging to put high-level statements on research standards into practice and many institutions and researchers have asked UKRIO for advice.
UKRIO developed our Self-Assessment Tool to help institutions identify areas of their research practices, policies and culture that may need revision in order to comply with the Concordat. It also goes further than helping with compliance, allowing institutions to consider how they might carry out a broad implementation of the Concordat, building on existing activities to safeguard and enhance research quality and a healthy research culture.
UKRIO has fully revised our Self-Assessment Tool to reflect the second edition of the Concordat published in 2019. This new edition of the Self-Assessment Tool includes:
- A summary of changes to the second edition of the Concordat and the minimum compliance standards required by the Concordat Signatories.
- Updated self-assessment tables, reflecting the new content and requirements of the 2019 edition of the Concordat.
- New discussion on the implementation of the Concordat and avoidance of a ‘tick box’ approach.
- Expanded discussion of the content of institutional annual statements on research integrity.
- An Appendix setting out a comparison of key elements of the 2012 and 2019 editions of the Concordat, including the changing responsibilities of researchers, employers and funders, and of key definitions used in the two editions.
If you would like our support in meeting the requirements of the revised Concordat and embedding its Commitments in the systems and practices of your research or your organisation please contact us.
About our guidance: UKRIO’s Self-Assessment Tool, which has received exceptional feedback since its launch in 2014, poses self-assessment questions for institutions, each mapped onto one or more commitments of the Concordat. For each question, this document also introduces practical ways in which they might be met, as examples of how the Concordat might be implemented. The guidance also explores the particular challenges involved in implementing the Concordat and makes suggestions on what might be included in annual institutional statements on research integrity, a key requirement of the Concordat.
Guidance is given on every aspect of the Concordat but particular attention has been paid to areas where UKRIO has most often been approached for guidance, in the hope of passing on lessons learned to the research community. Use of the self-assessment questions will not only help with the implementation of the Concordat, but also enhance an institution’s overall approach to research integrity and help ensure that important issues have not been overlooked.
Our aim is not to suggest a ‘one size fits all’ approach or impose inflexible solutions. Rather, we hope that this self-assessment tool will help institutions consider how the Concordat can best be implemented in their particular settings, and how it might be used to promote and sustain research integrity.
The Self-Assessment Tables are available as a separate document for ease of completion:
The appendix setting out a comparison of key elements of the 2012 and 2019 editions of the Concordat can also be downloaded separately:
Further supporting materials will be added shortly.