Reporting a breach or research misconduct
If you believe that the actions of a Macquarie University staff member or student may constitute a breach of the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Macquarie Code) or research misconduct, you are encouraged to report it.
Staff and students of the University may speak with a research integrity advisor (RIA) before making a report. Speaking with a RIA will help you to understand whether a breach or research misconduct may or may not have occurred, the process for making a report and any possible implications of making a report.
Research Integrity Advisors are available to discuss research integrity issues, standards and processes with staff and students.
People external to the University should contact the Director, Research Ethics and Integrity (contact details below).
How to report
How we will handle and resolve allegations
The procedures followed for handling and resolving allegations are outlined in the Macquarie Code and follow the principles of procedural fairness.
The University implements procedural fairness during all stages of an assessment of potential breaches of responsible research practice. This notion encompasses procedures that are transparent and have been designed to ensure that a fair, equitable, accountable, timely, transparent and reasonable decision-making process is followed.
The rules of procedural fairness in this context imply that a person who is the subject of an investigation of a potential breach of responsible research has the right to be heard and respond to allegations and that the people involved in assessing the potential breach are impartial to the outcome, unbiased and act only objectively on the basis of logically probative evidence.
Visit NSW Ombudsman for more information on procedural fairness.
Can I make an anonymous report?
The University is committed to the principles of procedural fairness. We therefore encourage people to bring forward allegations but will not normally act on anonymous allegations.
In some cases, the person making a complaint may wish not to be identified to other people. If this is the case, we will as far as possible keep the person's identity confidential, but issues of procedural fairness may sometimes dictate otherwise.
Public interest disclosures
Reports should be made under the University’s Reporting Wrongdoing – Public Interest Disclosures Policyand associated procedures where allegations relate to serious wrongdoing arising from:
- Corrupt conduct
- Serious and substantial waste in the public sector
- Failure to exercise functions in accordance with any provisions of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW).
Reporting a breach or research misconduct by people external to Macquarie University
If an alleged breach relates to people outside Macquarie University, the report should be made to the person's institution. If the allegation relates to a publication, the report can be made to the editor of that publication.
Contact Research Ethics and Integrity if you need advice or assistance in determining who to report an allegation to.
Reprisal actions or malicious allegations will not be tolerated
The University will not tolerate any reprisal action against staff or students who accurately and honestly report possible breaches or research misconduct. In assessing and dealing with reports of possible breaches or research misconduct, the University will consider the possibility of reprisal action and seek to minimise its occurrence.
If a staff member or student is concerned about the possibility of reprisal action, they should raise the matter with the Director, Research Ethics and Integrity. Similarly, if any staff member or student is concerned that any action they need to take in the course of their role may be perceived to amount to reprisal action, they should consult the Director, Research Ethics and Integrity.
Staff members or students who take detrimental action against an individual who accurately and honestly reports possible breaches or research misconduct may be disciplined by the University in accordance with relevant policies and industrial instruments.
Frivolous, vexatious and malicious allegations of either breaches or research misconduct will not be tolerated or investigated. Persons making such allegations may be the subject of disciplinary actions. In serious cases, or where the person is from outside Macquarie University, the matter may be referred to the police.