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Responsible Conduct of Research

*NEWS BULLETIN: NSF 2010 Training Requirement for RCR*

For all new proposals submitted after January 4, 2010, the National Science Foundation (NSF) requires UT Arlington to provide training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. For full details regarding the NSF requirement, UT Arlington's procedure for implementation, and responsibilities of NSF PIs, click here.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) refers to the professional and ethical responsibility of researchers to conduct their research with honesty, accuracy, efficiency, and objectivity.

Public awareness of responsible conduct of research has increased due to several reports of research misconduct. In response, the federal government has attempted to clearly define expectations for responsible conduct of research. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is dedicated to creating policy, providing guidance, and monitoring responsible conduct of research. According to ORI, there is no one best way to undertake research, no universal method that applies to all scientific investigations. Accepted practices for the responsible conduct of research can and do vary from discipline to discipline and even from laboratory to laboratory. There are, however, some important shared values for the responsible conduct of research that bind all researchers together, such as:

HONESTY - conveying information truthfully and honoring commitments

ACCURACY- reporting findings precisely and taking care to avoid errors

EFFICIENCY- using resources wisely and avoiding waste

OBJECTIVITY- letting the facts speak for themselves and avoiding improper bias

At the very least, responsible conduct is research that is built on a commitment to these and other important values that define what is meant by integrity in research.

With the abundance of federal and local regulations, policies, and guidance that are intended to ensure the protection of research subjects, research funding, and the overall integrity of research results, the field of research has become increasingly complex. These challenges face researchers, teachers, and students alike. With these web pages, The University of Texas at Arlington has created a framework of information and guidance to assist all of those participating in the research endeavor.

For a more detailed presentation of Responsible Conduct in Research, all faculty and student researchers are encouraged to complete UT Arlington's web based RCR training.