Research Integrity Principles
As members of the Boston College community of scholars, we commit ourselves to "the highest standards of teaching and research." We dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of knowledge and respect for the truth and other people. We strive to be researchers of integrity who "[serve] society . . . by producing nationally and internationally significant research that advances insight and understanding, thereby both enriching culture and addressing important societal needs." (Quotations from the Mission of Boston College)
As members of the Boston College community of scholars, we will:
- be open and attentive to new observations and discoveries;
- employ our intellect and reason to analyze these observations and discoveries with honesty and without bias;
- bring an attitude of logic and reasoned reflection to our interpretations and discussions, and to our decisions regarding research directions;
- treat all people with whom we interact justly and with respect: our colleagues, our students, our teachers and supervisors, those who volunteer to participate in our research, and community;
- be responsible stewards of our resources: financial, material, and environmental;
- acknowledge and share the joy and intrinsic value of learning and knowledge.
We expect all members of the Boston College community of scholars, regardless of discipline or level of advancement, to conduct research in an ethically responsible way. This entails:
- representing accurately and honestly the actual observations and findings in whatever medium they are presented, be they notes, abstracts, draft manuscripts, reports, oral presentations, or publications;
- using statistics and other methods of data analysis and evaluation in an appropriate and responsible manner;
- attributing due credit to those responsible for the work, words, and ideas presented;
- communicating clearly, honestly, and respectfully with all members of the research community;
- facilitating the exchange of knowledge among researchers at all levels of experience by encouraging a climate of intellectual collaboration and trust;
- treating all members of the research community with respect and fairness;
- facilitating the training and development of junior members of the community, insuring that they have the opportunity to achieve their full potential;
- adhering to existing standards or codes of ethics within one’s academic or professional discipline that pertain to the ethical conduct of research;
- educating junior members of the community in the ethical standards of research;
- appropriately disclosing any relationships, financial or personal, that might be perceived to compromise one's scholarly judgment;
- demonstrating respect for all people engaged in research as participants, students, or co-workers by protecting their rights and welfare and fulfilling the spirit and intent of requirements of all applicable laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines;
- treating animals used in research and instruction with attention to their welfare and in compliance with all applicable laboratory animal care laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines;
- demonstrating stewardship of resources by appropriate use of research funds, care and maintenance of equipment and other research materials, and compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines for the use and disposal of hazardous substances;
- abiding by all Boston College policies governing research and the determination of its outcomes;
- continually seeking opportunities to enhance and deepen both individual and institutional understanding of research integrity.
Following review by the University Research Council, the Council of Deans, the Office of the General Counsel, the Provost, and the President, these Principles were adopted by Boston College, October 2007.
The University Research and Projects Policy and the Research Integrity Policy and Guidelines on Misconduct apply to all researchers at Boston College. Students or faculty members should be aware of the University's policy on Academic Integrity.
More information on guidelines and ethics codes for those in specific disciplines is available through the following links: