The UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) is an independent charity, offering support to the public, researchers and organisations to further good practice in academic, scientific and medical research. We promote integrity and high ethical standards in research, as well as robust and fair methods to address poor practice and misconduct. We pursue these aims through our publications on research practice, in-depth support and services for research employers, our education and training activities, and by providing expert guidance in response to requests for assistance from individuals and organisations.
Established in 2006, our aims are to:
- Promote the good governance, management and conduct of academic, scientific and medical research.
- Share good practice on how to address poor practice, misconduct and unethical behaviour.
- Give confidential, independent and expert advice on specific research projects, cases, problems and issues.
It is increasingly recognised that poor practice, fraud and other forms of misconduct can cause significant harm to research. They damage the quality of UK research and its international reputation. They represent a breach of trust with the public, which supports research through charities, other funding bodies and taxes. Misconduct and poor practice can cause considerable financial and reputational damage to research institutions, jeopardise public funds and, most importantly, put participants, patients and the public at risk or cause actual harm. The UK has a world-class reputation for conducting exceptional and innovative research and for producing researchers of the highest calibre. It is vital to promote integrity in our research.
UKRIO has amassed considerable – and unique – experience in helping organisations, researchers and the public with issues of research conduct across all subject areas, from the arts and humanities to health and biomedicine. We are the only dedicated research integrity body in the UK and no other organisation has comparable expertise in providing such support.
At present more than 100 research organisations of varying types subscribe to UKRIO, including most of the Russell Group of universities, and we feel that reflects the value of the services that we provide. Both editions of The Concordat to Support Research Integrity were developed with the assistance of UKRIO and it recognises us as a key source of support for the research community.
In its 2018 report on research integrity in the UK, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee stated “We recommend that the Government and Universities UK write jointly to all universities to encourage them to engage with UKRIO and consider subscribing to its services.”
While the Government’s response to the Committee recognised our work in supporting and safeguarding good research practice:
“The Government recognises the important role that UKRIO play in promoting engagement and making clear that public funds should be used with integrity wherever possible to ensure that research is reproducible and reliable. Not all Higher Education Institutions are in receipt of public funding for research but where universities do receive public funding, we will explore with Universities UK (UUK) and UKRIO how we can promote the work of UKRIO as an organisation that furthers good practice in academic, scientific and medical research.”