UKRIO newsletter - December 2020 
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UKRIO newsletter - December 2020

This newsletter is published every other month, providing our subscribing institutions and those subscribed to our mailing list with updates and topical information on research integrity and related issues.

Welcome from the Chief Executive

The ongoing pandemic has had a considerable impact on the research community, as it has on society as a whole. It has also posed significant challenges for the quality and ethical standards of research.

UKRIO has adapted its work programme in response to these changes, for example by publishing guidance on conducting research during the pandemic, holding monthly webinars on good research practice and related topics, and providing advice and support to researchers at your institution.

We will shortly be publishing new guidance on the implementation of the second edition of The Concordat to Support Research Integrity, helping research organisations to comply with the requirements of research funders. From this month onwards, we will be holding virtual roundtables for research integrity professionals from institutions like your own, giving them the opportunity to discuss the issues that matter to them in complete confidence and get support from UKRIO and their peers. Further information on our work programme for 2021 will be circulated shortly.

As recommended by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, we are continuing to work with UK Research & Innovation as it begins to establish the proposed oversight body for investigations of research misconduct. UKRIO’s activities and those of the new body will complement each other, with UKRIO’s focus remaining on promoting good research practice and providing practical and proportionate support for researchers and employers.

We look forward to continuing our support for the UK research community and the general public. Our advice, guidance and support services are independent and confidential, drawing on the unique expertise we have accrued since our inception in 2006 and the pan-disciplinary knowledge of our expert volunteer advisers.

I hope you have a good Christmas and a peaceful 2021.

James Parry
Chief Executive, UK Research Integrity Office.

UKRIO resources and activities

Recommended Checklist for Research Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This new guidance is aimed at individuals and organisations performing research of any kind during a pandemic – helping them anticipate issues that may affect the quality and ethical standards of their research and think about how they might be addressed. The Checklist is applicable to all research disciplines, including but not limited to research on COVID-19 and related topics.

The Checklist highlights key issues for consideration when planning research, when carrying out research, and when disseminating its findings. Its aim is to help researchers and others think about what challenges and problems might affect the integrity of their research and consider how to address them. Download a copy of the Checklist here.

Researcher Checklist of Ethics Applications for Research with Human Beings
To supplement our existing guidance on research ethics support and review, this new ethics checklist is aimed at researchers seeking ethical approval for research involving human participants. It covers the application to the ethics committee detailing the study and its ethics protocol; participant information including recruitment material; and the consent process. The ethics checklist is available for download here.

Research integrity resources
UKRIO’s research integrity resource area has a useful new section relating to pre-prints versus pre-proof and pre-press articles. To look at our resource area, click here.

Do you have research integrity advisers or champions at your organisation?
UKRIO are keen to hear from institutions who have research integrity local advisers, leads, champions or other types of such support networks. We are developing a guidance document with case studies to share examples of experience in practice. If you wish to contribute please contact


UKRIO events

Webinar Series
Our monthly research integrity webinar series has seen a host of expert speakers talking about many different aspects of research integrity. Topics covered in our free webinars so far include: publication ethics and authorship; research ethics; clinical trials; consent in research; data sharing and ethics; and research culture.

We kick start the new year with a webinar looking at good research practice from the perspective of academic publishers, taking place 2pm-4pm on Wednesday 20th January. This event will be open for booking shortly.

Meanwhile, you can see videos and presentations from previous webinars on our website. Re-watch webinars you have enjoyed or catch up on any you have missed

Our webinars are open to all and are free to attend. We continue to announce dates and topics for future webinars periodically. Please check our UKRIO events page for further details.

Save the date! UKRIO Annual Conference postponed to May 2021 
In light of the ongoing pandemic, UKRIO has taken the decision to host our next Annual Conference entirely online.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, the Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, will open our virtual conference, which will take place across two days on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20 May 2021. More details to follow in the new year.

Research Integrity Virtual Roundtables 
This month UKRIO held the first in a brand new online event series exclusively for UKRIO subscribers.

The Virtual Roundtable is an small, informal event where subscribers come together to discuss the issues that matter to them in complete confidence and get support from UKRIO and their peers.

If you are a subscribing institution and wish to register your interest, please email


Research community resources and activities

The Embassy of Good Science is now using a wiki platform. They invite the research community and others to share knowledge and practical tools on research integrity, stating:

‘Experienced researchers can share experiences and insights. Teachers can develop training programs for the classroom or online. Junior researchers can ask questions about difficult situations or ask for help anonymously.’

They describe their goal as to make science more transparent, improve the research environment and support the quality of research outputs. The wiki platform can be found by clicking here.

The UK Reproducibility Network supports initiatives to encourage appropriate methodology, accountability and the establishment of working groups. Our charity is one of the funders of UKRN and we regularly collaborate with them. Learn more about UKRN and its work here.

Research Integrity Dilemma Game by Erasmus University. This excellent training tool has been developed further and is now a free app for smartphones and other devices. As well as being used by individuals, the app allows for group sessions, for example with attendees of training courses discussing and voting on dilemmas, with their votes shared on a web platform for further discussion by the trainer and attendees. To have a look at this training tool and explore its capabilities, visit the website.

Utrecht University holds weekly presentations on research integrity topics. Have a look at ‘Integrity Thursdays’ here.

On 3rd December the Netherlands Research Integrity Network (NRIN) held its annual symposium virtually. This year they created a programme where research on research was presented from different angles and multiple disciplines, with the purpose to broaden the perspective on research integrity. Materials and recordings from the symposium are available here.

Join us on social media

@UKRIO twitter: why not follow us on twitter and join in the conversation?

UKRIO Webinars YouTube Channelif you have missed one of our topical events or would like to re-watch them, you can now catch them on our YouTube Channel UKRIO Webinars.

LinkedIn: If you haven’t already, join our LinkedIn UKRIO company page, as well as our group page ‘UK Research Integrity’ where we discuss integrity and high ethical standards in research.

Volunteering with UKRIO

If you would like to use your professional skills to support good research practice, we have a role to suit you: joining our Register of Advisers.

What do our Advisers do?
Our volunteer Advisers play a vital role in UKRIO’s work, including helping shape the responses to requests for our assistance on issues of research practice, contributing to our guidance publications and education and training programmes, and assisting research organisations in the investigation of alleged misconduct in research. This offers an excellent opportunity to contribute to UKRIO’s shaping of research integrity policy in the UK and to help people faced with challenges to good research practice.

UKRIO’s Advisory Service deals with a wide range of enquiries from organisations – such as universities, the NHS, private sector organisations and charities – and individual researchers and the public, including research participants and patients. We welcome enquiries from all disciplines of research but ensure that Advisers are only consulted on issues relevant to their expertise.

What does the role involve?
Most of our Advisers’ work is conducted remotely and we ensure that our volunteers are not overburdened by allocating enquiries carefully and proportionately. UKRIO recognises the invaluable contribution made by the people who volunteer to support it;

Advisers are always free to decline assignments without losing the goodwill of the organisation.

Advisers give their time to UKRIO pro bono and are not employees of the organisation. We pay reasonable expenses incurred by Advisers in the course of supporting UKRIO. Appropriate insurances and indemnities have been obtained to cover volunteers, including Advisers, when acting on behalf of UKRIO.

Further information on the work of UKRIO’s Advisers, including their Code of Conduct and UKRIO’s procedures for responding to requests for assistance, can be found here:

How to volunteer
If you would be interested in volunteering as an Adviser, please send a CV and a brief summary of your experience with issues of research integrity to All enquiries will be treated in confidence.

Christmas closure

UKRIO will be closed from Thursday 24 December 2020 to Monday 4 January 2021, re-opening on Tuesday 5 January.

If you require urgent assistance from UKRIO during the holiday period, please contact us using this form and we will respond as soon as we are able.

We hope you have a restful Christmas and a peaceful 2021.


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