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Guidance notes and position statements

Guidance notes on good research practice

To supplement our core publications – our code of practice for research and our research misconduct investigation procedure – UKRIO is publishing a series of guidance notes on specific aspects of academic, scientific and medical research.  These guidance notes cover all disciplines of research but will also highlight issues relevant to particular subject areas.

As well as providing useful guidance for researchers themselves, research organisations can use our guidance notes to raise awareness of the particular topic, and as material for staff and student development and training. Our guidance notes can also be used as reference tools by organisations who wish to create specific policies on these issues, or to revise existing policies. As with all of the guidance that we provide, it is up to organisations and researchers to decide how best to implement it and in a way that suits their particular research environment.

The first two documents in this series, covering internet-mediated research and retraction in academic journals, are available below. UKRIO will be publishing further guidance notes, including on authorship in academic publications, in 2017.

The aim is not to be prescriptive, but to highlight particular challenges involved in research and to foster discussion on what might constitute ‘good practice’ in these fundamentally important parts of the research process. Like our other publications, the guidance notes are underpinned by ‘lessons learned’ from UKRIO’s confidential Advisory Service on the conduct of research, which has operated since 2006 and covers all disciplines, from the arts and the humanities to health and biomedicine.

Good practice in internet-mediated research

This guidance note, aimed at researchers and research organisations, explores research integrity, ethical considerations and other issues applicable to internet-mediated research.

It is unsurprising that an increasing number of researchers are choosing the internet as a tool for data collection, for recruitment and as a research landscape. The ubiquitous nature of the internet and the digitisation of our lives is reflected in the number of disciplines interested in using the internet as a research tool or landscape. In turn, this new landscape requires consideration of the ethics in research practice online.

The document covers all disciplines of research but does not put forward a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.  It complements existing guidance on internet-mediated research, such as provided by the Association of Internet Researchers, the British Psychological Society and the Economic and Social Research Council, and does not seek to replace them.

As internet-mediated research evolves further, good practice will continue to develop. This document will be revised periodically, to reflect such developments and highlight those new challenges which emerge. UKRIO will seek feedback from the research community to inform the revision of this document



Guidance for researchers on retractions in academic journals

This guidance note covers good practice in relation to retractions in academic journals. As most published guidance on this topic is aimed at journal editors and publishers. UKRIO and the Committee on Publication Ethics have produced this document to help raise awareness of the proper criteria for retractions, corrections  and expressions of concern in academic journals. Our aim is to help researchers understand how these important mechanisms for safeguarding the record of research should – and should not – be applied in practice.


Position statements

In this section you can learn more about the positions adopted by UKRIO on various research-related issues. To discuss any of these issues further, please contact us.

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