Research Integrity

‘Research integrity relates to the performance of research to the highest standards of professionalism and rigour, and to the accuracy and trustworthiness of the research record in publications and elsewhere’.

National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland (2019) 

In order to promote best practice in responsible research behaviour and in line with the National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland, the HSE provides free online training on Research Integrity via HSELand.

The online training course is comprised of 8 core sections and a further 5 specialist modules. It is recommended that the ‘core modules’ are followed in sequence, and then followed by any or all ‘specialist modules’. It is also recommended that Research Integrity training should be undertaken/retaken at least once every three years.

The following are recommended nationally as comprising a “complete course” for researchers at different career stages:

  • Early-stage researchers: Core modules 1-8 (Comprehensive)
  • Experienced researchers: Core modules 1 and 2 (Concise)
  • Specialist Modules 1-5 are optional and can be completed as standalone modules at any stage.

Core ModulesContents
1. Good Research ConductDefinitions and concepts
Professional responsibilities
Public responsibilities
Institutional responsibilities
Personal responsibilities
2. Irresponsible Research PracticesCharacterising misbehaviour
Misconduct vs questionable research practices
The impact of irresponsible practice
Reporting irresponsible conduct
3. Planning your ResearchResearch plans
The use and misuse of research plans
Governance approvals
The consequence of poor planning
4. Managing and Recording your ResearchProject management
The importance of a research record
The format and content of research records
Data storage and retention
Data ownership, protection and sharing
5. Data Selection, Analysis and PresentationData selection
Data analysis
Guiding virtues in data presentation
Data presentation in practice: Writing
Data presentation in practice: Tables, charts and graphs
Data presentation in practice: Images
6. Scholarly PublicationPreparing to publish
Journal selection
Drafting your manuscript
Assigning authorship
Avoiding plagiarism
Submission and review
Post-publication responsibilities
7. Professional ResponsibilitiesMentors and mentees
Individual responsibilities in teams and collaborations
Considerations for larger collaborations
Best practices in peer review
Irresponsible practices in peer review
8. Communication, Social Responsibility and ImpactBroader responsibilities
Responsible communication
Working with colleagues
Working with the public
Setting high standards
Specialist ModulesContents
1. Conflicts of InterestIdentifying your interests
Disclosing conflicts of interest
Handling conflicts of interest in Ireland
Institutional policies
What can go wrong?
2. Research Involving Human ParticipantsGuiding principles
Review and approval
Preparing for review
Irish policies and processes
Ethical considerations
Continuing responsibilities
What can go wrong?
3. The Care and Use of Animals in ResearchBasic responsibilities
The 3Rs
Irish care and use policies
Institutional Programmes
Continuing responsibilities
Examples of problems and poor practice
4. Intellectual PropertyCopyright
Ownership of intellectual property
Irish intellectual property policies
Intellectual property issues and problems
5. Export ControlsCoverage
Advice and institutional support
Export control policies in Ireland
What can go wrong?

National Research Integrity Forum was established in June 2015 to coordinate and facilitate research integrity implementation activities nationally. The HSE is a member of its Community of Practice and is committed to ensuring the highest standards of integrity in all aspects of research.

Maintaining well-established ethical standards is an important aspect of upholding the integrity of the research process. The HSE Research Ethics Committee (REC) system exists to protect the safety, welfare, and rights of participants in health research.