Research governance, ethics and integrity

Goldsmiths has structures that ensure the quality and impact of our research and its environment.

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Governing committees and boards

Reporting to the Academic Board, the Research and Enterprise Committee (REC) is a key strategic committee responsible for all aspects of research and enterprise, including research training, research ethics and integrity, and knowledge exchange/transfer activities in partnership with external organisations and businesses.

The Research Ethics and Integrity Sub-Committee and Postgraduate Research Board are responsible for particular aspects of REC’s overall remit and report to it.

Research ethics

The ethical scrutiny of research conducted by academic staff at Goldsmiths is the responsibility of the Research Ethics and Integrity Sub-Committee (REISC). REISC scrutinises ethical approval applications in order to ascertain that the research abides by both general and disciplinary principles and standards of research ethics.

Such principles relate to, for example, harm to human participants, independence of researchers, integrity of research, fidelity to verifiable knowledge, consent to research and use of data, and rights to privacy, confidentiality and anonymity.

Academic researchers have ethical obligations to the people, species and materials they study, to the stakeholders with whom they work, and to the environment within which the research is situated. Such obligations are not only based in the ‘here and now’ but are also oriented to the possibility of future knowledge production by others.

All research projects – that are concerned with living (or recently deceased) beings or with data and materials derived from such beings or that might unduly affect the environment and hence change the lives of beings within that environment - require ethical approval.

Ethical approval applications related to research projects led by undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students are managed by relevant academic departments. Oversight is provided by REISC.

Covid-19 guidance for research ethics

As we continue to move through Covid-19 phases, a significant degree of uncertainty remains about the kind of research activities that are possible.

It is our obligation to seek advice about any planned or ongoing research activity and to ensure that:

  1. Ethical clearance has been received prior to commencing research
  2. Research Ethics and Integrity Departmental Committees (in the case of students) and Goldsmiths REISC (in the case of academic staff) have been informed where there has been substantial change to planned programme of research for which ethical clearance has already been received
  3. Any international partners are following the guidelines and advice of their home university and other relevant authorities about the conduct of research; and) we follow Goldsmiths, Public Health and FCO guidelines related to face to face meetings and travel

For further guidance about research during Covid-19 see:Recommended Checklist for Research Communities in a Pandemic.

Research integrity

Goldsmiths is a signatory to the Universities UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity (PDF) and has adopted the UK Research and Integrity Office’s Code of Practice for Research (PDF) as its institutional Code of Practice on Research Ethics and Integrity.

The Chair of Goldsmiths Research Ethics and Integrity Sub-Committee (REISC), currently Professor Anna Traianou a.traianou (@gold.ac.uk), acts as first point of contact for anyone wanting more information on matters of research integrity and as a confidential liaison for whistle-blowers or anyone else wishing to raise concerns about research integrity.

The formal procedures for dealing with allegations related to research integrity are set out in Goldsmiths Research Misconduct Procedure (PDF) and Goldsmiths Research Misconduct Flowchart (PDF)

Open access

Our statement on open sccess reflects our unique and specialist nature and its research-intensive status: Goldsmiths statement on open access (PDF)