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Research at Boston College

Topics in Responsible Conduct of Research

1 Data Management
Responsible data recording, retention, and analysis; data ownership and access; intellectual property
2 The Advisor/Trainee Relationship
Responsibilities of students, advisors, post-doctoral fellows, mentors and others
3 Publication Practices
Responsible authorship and citation; redundant or minimal publication; copyright
4 Peer Review
Of manuscripts and grant applications
5 Collaborative Research
6 Research Involving Human Participants
7 Research Involving Animals
8 Research Misconduct
Definitions, regulations, procedures for handling allegations, and historical cases
9 Conflicts of Interest and Commitment
10 Financial Management
11 Research Safety
12 Responsibility to Society

There are a number of other lists of topics within RCR that have been written, and our list draws on these. For instance, the Office of Research Integrity of the US DHHS has identified nine core instructional areas that are important for the responsible conduct of research.

  1. Data acquisition, management, sharing, and ownership
  2. Mentor/trainee responsibilities
  3. Publication practices and responsible authorship
  4. Peer review
  5. Collaborative science
  6. Human subjects
  7. Research involving animals
  8. Research misconduct
  9. Conflict of interest and commitment

A note concerning the information presented on these pages:

Historically, the majority of concern about the responsible conduct of research (RCR), sometimes called research ethics, has been focused in the biomedical disciplines; largely because that is where the major scandals of the late 20th century occurred. For this reason, many of the guidelines and materials have a biological perspective. However, a concern about research integrity is not just for biomedical scientists. It is the responsibility of all researchers, regardless of their disciplines, and the messages of the guidelines and materials are for all of us. Sometimes, however, we may need to extrapolate the details and examples given into ones appropriate for our own disciplines. As additional, more diverse materials become available, we will strive to include them. Please contact Dr. Stephen Erickson if you know of information that would be useful to other members of the BC research community and could be included on these pages.