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Research Ethics: UWI's Ethics Policy

A guide to the policies concerning plagiarism at UWI St Augustine

UWI Policy on Research Ethics

Excerpts from The University of the West Indies Policy on Research Ethics (1998). The Policy applies to all individuals who conduct research at UWI or at one of its affiliated institutions.

The term "research" includes all forms of funded and unfunded scholarly and creative work by UWI staff and students and by people who use UWI facilities for the creation, dissemination, and publication of scholarly work.

  • Responsibility of the University

The University requires honesty and integrity in research and scholarship. The University, through the appropriate administrative offices and in accordance with the provisions of this Policy and other applicable regulatory procedures, will (a) help facilitate the resolution of disputes concerning matters dealt with in this Policy and (b) investigate allegations of misconduct under this Policy and take action, as appropriate.

  • The Selection and Conduct of Research

Research Projects should be managed, funding should be used and research should be conducted with due consideration for all University policies.

  • Individual Research

The primary responsibility for the selection and conduct of research rests with the individuals performing the research.

  • Collaborative / Team Research

The research director of principal investigator is obliged to ensure that the members of the research team or group are aware of the University's Policy and of other applicable ethical norms governing the conduct of the research.

  • Student Research

In the case of research conducted by students for academic credit, the instructor, supervisor or research director, is responsible for informing the student of his or her obligations in respect of the ethical conduct of research, and must take reasonable measures to ensure that the student's research is conducted in accordance with the provisions of the UWI's Policy and with other applicable ethical norms.

  • Falsification of Data

The gathering of data and research materials must be undertaken with honesty and integrity. Researchers should never publish as true, data they know to be false or the result of deliberate acts of falsification.

  • Plagiarism

Researchers should not knowingly represent the published or unpublished work of another person as their own or assist anyone else in doing so. The use by a researcher of work done by other people must be appropriately and adequately acknowledged.

  • Conflict of Interest

Where a conflict of interest of a financial nature arises, a researcher is under a duty to disclose that interest, to his/her superior and to all other persons to whom it should be disclosed, where the relevant circumstances are not a matter of public knowledge.

  • Misuse of Research Funds

Where a research funding body provides guidelines on the use of research funds, researchers and directors of research projects must follow those guidelines scrupulously, including adequate reporting of financial of financial statements as required by the sponsor.

Nothing in the provisions of this Policy is intended to impugn the actions of a person who exercises judgement or interprets data or designs experiments in a way which may reasonably be the subject of honest defferences of opinion.

Research with Human and Animal Subjects

  • Human Subjects

Research involving human subjects must be carried out in accordance with the highest standards of conduct.

It must be conducted in a manner which is ethical and which respects the rights of the persons who are the subjects of the research and in accordance with the rules and guidelines prescribed by research funding bodies, the law in the territories where the research is to be conducted and the University.

  • Animal Research

All Animal research must be conducted in compliance with the University's guidelines on the use of animals for research and teaching.

Collaborative Research

  • Attribution of Authorship and Copyright Ownership

Research collaborators should establish as early as possible, how the attribution of authorship and how the allocation of copyright are to be divided between them.

  • Student-Professor Collaborations

The rule above applies in the case where the collaborators are academic staff member(s) and student(s).

Further to those rules, a student should be granted due prominence on a list of co-authors of any multiple-authored article that is based primarily on the student's own dissertation/ thesis, according to the practice n the discipline.

  • The Duty to Acknowledge Sources of Funding

All public and private funding sources (grants, contracts and gifts including endowed income that funds named chairs) used in the conduct of research should be acknowledged in resulting publications.


  • Gathering of Data

Data must be organized in a manner that allows ready verification and must be gathered in accordance with principles governing the use of human and animal subjects.

  • Availability of Data

Subject to exceptions based on a duty of confidentiality and the laws respecting intellectual property and access to information, after data are published, they must be made available to any party presenting a reasonable request to examine them.

  • Maintenance of Data

All original data must be retained for a reasonable length of time. A period of at least five years from the date of publication is recommended.

  • Disciplinary Action and Grievance

Any allegation of misconduct under this Policy made against a member of the University, shall be dealt with in accordance with the University's legal instruments (e.g. Ordinance No. 8 and the Students' Charter.)


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