Integrity in research and scholarship

The Canadian Cancer Society is the major grantor of charitable funds for cancer research and scholarship in academic institutions in Canada. The Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute works closely with the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and other health-related agencies in pursuit of its mission “to undertake and support cancer research and related programs in Canada that will lead to reduction of the incidence, morbidity and mortality from cancer”. The policies outlined below are derived from input from the CIHR and discussions at the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute.

The Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute is committed to the highest standards of integrity in research and scholarships. The Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute has therefore sought to define integrity in a manner consistent with encouraging the highest standards of research and scholarship. The major concerns regarding scientific misconduct are considered fabrication or falsification of data and plagiarism, but the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute regards any action that is inconsistent with integrity as misconduct.

Integrity includes the principles listed below, which should be interpreted with the understanding that research can involve honest error, conflicting data or valid differences in experimental design or in interpretation or judgment of information:

  • recognizing the substantive contributions of collaborators and students; using unpublished work of other researchers and scholars only with permission and with due acknowledgement; and using archival material in accordance with the rules of the archival source
  • not using new information, concepts or data that were originally obtained through access to confidential manuscripts or applications for funds for research or training that may have been seen as a result of processes such as peer review, unless the author has given permission
  • using scholarly and scientific rigor and integrity in obtaining, recording and analyzing data and in reporting and publishing results
  • ensuring that authorship of published work includes all who have materially contributed to and share responsibility for the contents of the publication, and only those people
  • revealing to sponsors, universities, journals or funding agencies any material, financial or other conflict of interest that might influence their decisions on whether the individual should be asked to review manuscripts or applications, test products or be permitted to undertake work sponsored from outside sources

These components of scientific integrity overlap with other areas such as financial integrity in the use of research funds and the ethical issues involving the use of human or animal subjects in research. This document is concerned only with scientific integrity and does not replace any other statements from the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute on other areas with which this issue may overlap.

The Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute requires the institutions that administer funds to accept responsibility for:

  • monitoring and investigating possible instances of misconduct in research or scholarship
  • imposing appropriate sanctions in accordance with their own policies
  • informing the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute of conclusions reached and actions taken

The specific expectations for procedures and responsibilities of researcher, research institutions and the Canadian Cancer Society regarding integrity in research and scholarship are outlined below.

Procedures for promoting integrity and for preventing and addressing misconduct in research

Last modified on: November 10, 2014