Join the Dialogue: Proposed Policy Amendment: Policy #85 (Scholarly Integrity)

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Please take the opportunity to express your voice in the formation/change of university policies!

The University is proposing amendments to  Policy #85 (Scholarly Integrity). We have attached the rationale for the changes that were presented to the Board of Governors at its meeting on 4 December 2012 as well as both the existing and proposed policies. Below you will find the University’s comments on the proposed amendments.

Please review the proposed changes to see if you have any questions or concerns. You can submit your response to the Faculty Association by January 23 to be considered when we formulate the Association’s response, or you may forward your concerns directly to the University by January 31. If you do submit a response to the University directly, please copy us so that we’re aware of your response.


The UBC community is invited to comment on proposed amendments to Policy #85 (Scholarly Integrity).

In February of 2012, the Tri-Council granting agencies informed the University of two changes in the eligibility requirements for institutions, one of which was that a new Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research would replace the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship and its Framework for Tri-Council Review of University Policies Dealing with Integrity in Research. The new Framework specifically requires that the University “develop and administer a policy(ies) to address allegations of policy breaches by researchers that meets the minimum requirements set out in the Framework” and that the University “applies this policy(ies) to all research conducted under its auspices or jurisdiction.” Since the University already had in place a policy that addressed the issue of the responsible conduct of research (Policy 85 – Scholarly Integrity), a new policy did not need to be developed. However, the existing policy does require some amendments to meet the new minimum requirements set out in the Framework. Furthermore, the Policy has not undergone a substantive review since its inception in January 1995, and therefore a general review and update was in order in any event.

The proposed changes to Policy #85 shift the Policy’s focus to the promotion of scholarly integrity rather than the proscription of scholarly misconduct update, simplify and clarify the Policy to reflect the University’s practical experience with the Policy over the past 15 years and create a clearer, simpler document update and clarify the minimum requirements that were already addressed in the Policy to ensure compliance with the Framework and add any new requirements from the Framework that were not already addressed in the Policy to ensure compliance with the Framework.

Key elements of the proposed amendments to the Policy are:

  1. the addition of a section entitled “Promoting Scholarly Integrity” to the beginning of the Policy to emphasize the positive promotion of scholarly integrity and to provide a list of examples of the types of behavior that are expected of members of the University community
  2. the migration of portions of the Procedures into the Policy itself, to ensure that the Procedures only contain the process under which allegations of scholarly misconduct will be addressed
  3. the addition of the new Framework requirement that any Investigative Committee appointed to investigate an allegation of scholarly misconduct must include a member external to the University
  4. the addition of the new Framework reporting requirements, which include reporting to the newly created Tri-Council Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research in certain circumstances.

A copy of the proposed policy is attached to this e-mail.   Please submit feedback to the Office of the University Counsel at [email protected] by January 31, 2013.