Over the past five years UKRIO has established a service that provides confidential, independent and expert support to researchers, research organisations, employers and the public. The level of casework clearly shows there is important work to be done. In our view, UK research does not require more bureaucracy or statutory regulation, nor do UK researchers need to be micro-managed or encumbered with more paperwork. Instead, organisations and individuals need guidance and support that is practical and useful, and which encourages research of the highest quality, ethical standards and professional practice.
It is increasingly recognised that poor practice, fraud and other forms of misconduct can cause significant harm to research. Such practices damage the quality of UK research and its international reputation and represent a breach of trust with the public, which supports research through charities, other funding bodies and taxes. They can cause considerable financial and reputational damage to research institutions, jeopardise public funds and, most importantly, put participants, patients and the public at risk or cause actual harm. The costs of providing UKRIO’s services are minimal compared with the personal, institutional, financial, legal and reputational consequences of poorly managed research misconduct.
We are therefore firmly of the view that we should build on UKRIO’s successes and continue to supply and develop the support that we currently provide, reflecting and reinforcing the core values and mission of UKRIO.
For further information on our continuing work and plans for the future, please contact us.