What is a concern? - Definitions

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Are you concerned about a possible breach of research integrity? Learn more about how we define a breach, and when you should raise a concern.

Defining a breach

Breaches of research integrity occur when there is a deviation from accepted practice. Research misconduct describes a serious deviation from accepted practice. The deviation is intentional, reckless, or negligent.

The Guide to Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research defines research misconduct. It is distinct from other forms of professional misconduct, such as bullying and sexual harassment. Research misconduct does not include honest errors or differences in academic judgement.

Types of research integrity breaches

Below are some examples of what may constitute research misconduct.


Making up data, source material, methodologies or findings, including graphs and images.


Manipulating, changing or omitting data without acknowledgement. This includes changes to source material, methodologies, findings, graphs or images. Changes and omissions lead to inaccurate findings or conclusions.

Destruction of research records

Destroying one’s own or another’s research data or records to avoid the detection of wrongdoing. Or a destruction that contravenes the applicable agreement, policy, law, regulation or standard.


Presenting and using another’s work as one's own, without appropriate referencing. Or without gaining permission, when permission is required.

Another's work includes the following, and can be either published or unpublished:

  • theories
  • concepts
  • data
  • source material
  • methodologies
  • findings
  • graphs
  • images.

Redundant publications

Republishing one’s own published work or data, without acknowledging the source or justification. This republication could be in the same or another language.

Invalid authorship

Listing an author who has not contributed sufficiently to take responsibility for intellectual content. Or agreeing to be listed as an author, when there was little or no material contribution.

Inadequate acknowledgement

Failure to appropriately recognise the contributions of others. Recognition must be consistent with their respective contributions. And with the authorship policies of relevant publications.

Mismanagement of conflict of interest

Failure to manage any real, potential or perceived conflict of interest. These should be managed using the University’s policy on conflict of interest in research.

Misrepresentation in a research proposal

Providing incomplete, inaccurate or false information in a grant or award application. It includes misrepresentation in related documents, such as a letter of support or a progress report.

Mismanagement of research funds

Using research funds (such as contract, grant or awards funds) for purposes inconsistent with the agreement. Or misappropriating research, grant or award funds. Or in accurately documenting expenditures from grant or award accounts.

Addressing your concern

Do you have grounds for concern? Learn more about the process of lodging a complaint for a breach of research integrity.

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