Ethics and Integrity

Academic integrity

The integrity of the academic processes of the Sydney College of Divinity requires a research environment that is responsible and defined by the following values:

  • Intellectual honesty in undertaking and reporting research;
  • Respect for all participants in and subjects of research;
  • Accuracy in representing contributions to research;
  • Collegiality, co-operative and fair interactions; and
  • Transparency in declaring conflicts of interest.

Researchers and research candidates are expected to meet their obligations in maintaining the standards for responsible research and follow regulations and policies relating to all aspects of the conduct of research.

Research ethics

It is obligatory to conduct ethical research. Ethical research includes avoidance of the following:

  1. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the representation of another’s works or ideas as one’s own; it includes the unacknowledged word for word use or paraphrasing of another person’s work, and the inappropriate unacknowledged use of another person’s ideas.
  2. Fraud: Academic fraud is the falsification and fabrication of research results and dishonesty in reporting research results.
  3. Misrepresentation: Misrepresentation is the giving of false or misleading information in academic matters. It includes falsely claiming credit for past study and falsely stating that thesis material has not been used in another thesis beyond the permitted scope.
  4. Unethical behaviour: Unethical behaviour is behaviour that breaches accepted ethical standards. It includes failing to observe the terms of an ethical approval to conduct research and misuse of confidential information obtained in field education.

Failure to conduct ethical research may result in the candidate being charged with academic misconduct.

Research involving human subjects

Any research involving human subjects must have the approval of the Sydney College of Divinity Research Ethics Committee.

All thesis proposals involving the gathering of personal information from people by surveys, interviews or case studies will be dealt with according to the research ethics procedures and policies. Ethics clearance may also be pertinent if the research involves using such material collected by others. Note that the recording of oral history may or may not include the gathering of personal information.

Ethics clearance is normally sought at the same time as submission of the formal Thesis Proposal. If the need to seek ethics clearance arises subsequently, as the need to gather personal information emerges belatedly, the application for ethical clearance should be lodged promptly. Under no circumstances may those elements of the thesis relying on the gathering of personal information proceed before ethical clearance is granted.

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