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Research integrity and ethics

Research integrity

Rigour and integrity is essential to all good research. Much of the research within the Faculty has a textual, historical, or philosophical focus and presents a distinct set of ethical issues, especially transparent and fair use of evidence and of the work of other scholars, and the avoidance of plagiarism.

The Faculty has lengthy experience in tackling these issues of research integrity through the rigorous induction of students into good academic practice via the supervision system. The Faculty also encourages postgraduates, post-docs and staff to participate in the University's central training programme where issues of academic integrity are discussed.

Misconduct in research is taken very seriously by the Faculty and the University. Allegations of misconduct will be dealt with in accordance with the University's policies on research misconduct.

 

Ethics in the Conduct of Research

The interdisciplinary nature of some research in the Faculty, especially those undertaking psychological and anthropological research, sometimes means that students and staff in these areas encounter a wider set of research ethics issues, such as working with human participants, vulnerable subjects, and personal data. In all such cases those undertaking research must give consideration to these ethical issues in order to ensure that they will carry out their research in an appropriately responsible fashion, and an application made to the research committee for ethical approval.

Members of staff who conduct research that raises ethical issues are expected to submit their application at the earliest opportunity for approval. PhD or MLitt students should submit their applicationat the earliest opportunity in conceiving their research. At the very latest they will need to include their application as part of the material they submit for their first-year registration examination. Students on the BA, BTh, diplomas and MLitt will need to submit their application for ethical approval together with their dissertation proposal. In all cases, staff and students must submit their account of how they will deal with research ethics and receive approval before they embark upon their actual research.

In the Faculty of Divinity the body responsible for ethical review is the Research Committee. A summary of the proposed research together with a statement concerning the ethical issues raised by the research and how they will be addressed needs to be submitted to the committee. It is recommended that the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences application form is used (available from http://www.cshss.cam.ac.uk/research-ethics-approval). The application for ethical approval should be submitted to the secretary of the committee, . The committee is authorized to approve research or require specific changes or lay down certain conditions on how the research is conducted. In complex cases the committee may chose to refer the case to the Research Ethics Committee of the School of Arts and Humanities.

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