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 make 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 was developed with the assistance of UKRIO and it recognises us as a key part of the architecture for the future. We have long championed many of its commitments and are pleased to be part of the powerful consensus that it documents. The Concordat is an important step in the journey towards improving research integrity and enhancing the UK’s world-class reputation for conducting exceptional and innovative research.
2019 revision of the Concordat
On 25 October, the revised Concordat to Support Research Integrity was published. UKRIO sees the revision of the Concordat as an important step in safeguarding and improving standards in UK research, as research quality is inextricably linked to research integrity.
Responding to an inquiry by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, the revised Concordat clarifies what is required from researchers, employers of researchers and funders of research to help ensure that the highest standards of rigour and integrity are maintained.
UKRIO holds an Observer role on the Concordat Signatories Group and the updated Concordat was developed with the assistance of our unique expertise and experience. We will continue to work with the signatories of the Concordat to help implement its requirements and provide feedback to inform its future development.
Responding to the publication of the revised Concordat, James Parry, Chief Executive of UKRIO, said: “We welcome the publication of the revised Concordat to Support Research Integrity and the ongoing focus on research integrity in the UK. This new document needs to be followed by work to further embed its standards in UK research and we look forward to supporting researchers, research organisations and funders in achieving this. UKRIO will continue to use its unique expertise to inform further work on the Concordat.”
The revised Concordat can be downloaded from the Universities UK website: The Concordat to Support Research Integrity (2019)
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.
Download the publication here: Self-Assessment Tool for the Concordat to Support Research Integrity
Help with implementing the Concordat
UKRIO is helping to maintain the current momentum by supporting and enhancing the implementation of the Consensus Statement and the Concordat. We have considerable experience in helping organisations put into operation the principles and standards of new research guidance and will support the UK research community in meeting the requirements of the revised Concordat.
We will continue working with our subscribers to revise and improve their systems and practices. UKRIO does not offer a prescriptive approach but helps researchers and institutions determine what would best meet their particular needs.
A 2016 progress report on the Concordat by Universities UK praised our work in this area:
“…the most oft-cited resources that institutional leads on research integrity drew on were those provided by the UK Research Integrity Office, with both the ‘hard’ guidance available through UKRIO (such as model policies and processes) and the ‘soft’ support (such as informal advice and the annual conference) being highly valued.”
The same inquiry by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that called for the Concordat to be revised, praised the work of UKRIO on research integrity in the UK, stating: “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.”
If you would like our support in embedding the revised Concordat in the systems and practices of your research or your organisation, please contact us.