The NIH defines responsible conduct of research as the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.
Ascension Wisconsin is committed to fostering an environment of responsible conduct of research. Investigators conducting research at Ascension Wisconsin are expected to conduct research in accordance with the highest ethical standards.
Federal and Institutional Guidelines
RCR training is required for all students and postdoctoral researchers working on projects supported by NSF funds, as well as NIH training awards, and PHS traineeships.
Ascension Wisconsin Requirements
Ascension Wisconsin requires compliance with the federal requirements above. In addition, recommends that all students and residents complete the online CITI RCR training, regardless of funding source.
At Ascension, we manage our activities in a responsible way governed by Standards of Conduct. These guidelines are an extension of our values. They state expectations for how we conduct ourselves to promote and protect our organization’s integrity. We expect all our associates to comply with these standards. Learn more about the standards of conduct and how to report violations.
RCR TrainingCITI RCR Training provides on-line research ethics education to all members of the research community. See the Research Education page for more information and instructions for completing CITI training.
In addition to CITI training, addition in person training may be required to satisfy certain federal requirements, described above. At Ascension Wisconsin, this training is typically provided to the student or resident through the school or residency program.
Authorship provides credit for an individual’s contributions to a study and carries accountability. Responsibility for decisions regarding the authorship of publications lies with those who carried out the work reported in the publication.
The Ascension Wisconsin Authorship Policy (PolicyStat login required) describes the essential considerations and requirements in responsible authorship and publication by Ascension Wisconsin associates or affiliates conducting research at an Ascension Wisconsin facility or under the auspices of Ascension Wisconsin. Researchers should also be aware of the authorship practices within their own disciplines and should always abide by any requirements stipulated by journals.
Data management overlaps with many of the other core areas of RCR since data is integral to all research endeavors. The first step in good data management is designing research that creates meaningful and unbiased data, that will not waste resources and that will appropriately protect subjects.
Data collection and storage procedures can vary greatly depending on the type of research being conducted. Yet a vital component of data collection is keeping accurate records. If data
are not recorded in a fashion that allows others to validate findings, results can be called into question. Data should be stored and retained with appropriate safeguards in accordance with all institutional and department policies and practices, as well any applicable regulations.
Data ownership is a key issue pertaining to research, which is in part due to the future research avenues that the data might open and to the potential commercial applications that might stem from the data. When an arrangement is established among researchers, institutions, and funding sources, the issue of data ownership should be directly addressed.
Data disclosure and data sharing also raise a host of ethical issues. For example, if a researcher has access to proprietary information, the researcher might not be allowed to reveal that information to other individuals unless permission has been granted to do so. Further, privacy and confidentiality concerns can emerge if sensitive data, including information from research with humans, are shared without consulting relevant policies and regulations.
Research misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.
(a) Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
(b) Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
(c) Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
(d) Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
The Ascension Wisconsin Research Misconduct Policy (PolicyStat login required) outlines the process for investigating allegations and explain the consequences of committing misconduct, and in order to ensure that research conducted at Ascension Wisconsin is conducted ethically and with integrity.
Allegations of research misconduct can be reported to the Director of Research Integrity, the Ascension Wisconsin VP of Corporate Responsibility or through the Ascension Values Line at 1(800)707-2198 or www.ascensionvaluesline.org.
RCR References and Resources
The Research Clinic. The interactive training video (ORI and OHRP)
NIH RCR Policy outlining responsible conduct of research training requirements for trainees, fellows and scholars, including a list of NIH programs and award types to which this policy applies.
NSF RCR Resources National Science Foundation site with policy, FAQs, etc. regarding responsible conduct of research training for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers.