Code of Ethics for Research at SPSU

Research at SPSU is expected to be designed and carried out in a way that ensures high standards of quality & integrity by researchers & research groups. Further, all research should strive to contribute to the enhancement of knowledge and understanding. Poorly designed/conducted research wastes resources and could even lead to flawed conclusions with the potential to cause harm. To minimize such possibilities, the SPSU Code of Ethics for Research has been developed on the foundations of four key elements:

  1. Integrity
  2. Respect for all stakeholders including those participating in research
  3. Responsibility
  4. Competence

These ethical principles are briefly described below:

1. Integrity

Research at SPSU shall conform to the highest standards of integrity. This includes, but is not limited to, conformance to the law of the land, meeting IPR requirements and eschewing plagiarism in all research taken up at SPSU. Our researchers shall conduct research in a manner consistent with the needs of honest, open enquiry. Researchers shall clearly communicate their findings accurately without suppressing disconfirming findings, besides separating findings from opinions and ideas. Further, ideas used in research will be duly acknowledged and publication credit given as appropriate. Thus, all research at SPSU shall eschew piracy of research findings besides ensuring that plagiarism is avoided. Researchers at SPSU will also make all efforts to avoid conflict of interests in their research and where unavoidable, steps will be taken to safeguard interests of stake holders.

2. Respect for all stakeholders including those participating in research

All research at SPSU will be carried out in a manner consistent with the highest standards of environmental responsibility and concern for all life. This requires that all research at SPSU built on respect for the rights of society as a key stakeholder as well as concern for the well-being of research participants & experimental animals. Concern for environment will be demonstrated through a conscious effort to minimize polluting land, water or atmosphere on account of research carried out. All research must be carried out through use of environmentally responsible practices. Researchers will follow a systematic methodology to identify, manage, reduce and dispose-off environmentally hazardous/toxic substances and waste in a safe manner. Where possible, environmentally hazardous/toxic material shall be recycled to minimize consumption of such material and possibility of harm caused. Where material used or waste produced is non-hazardous/non-toxic, researchers will systematically identify, manage, reduce & recycle the material. In cases where recycling is not possible, the waste will be dispose-off in an environmentally safe manner. Respect for rights of society as a key stakeholder & well-being of research participants shall include respect to their privacy, confidentiality, self-determination and autonomy. Research that involves use of animals or genetic material from microbes, plants and animals shall be carried out as per the regulations and guidelines of regulatory authorities in the country. SPSU requires that meticulous records be maintained for all such research so that management/authorities can examine these and find improved ways of conducting research. Further, all research shall be consistent with the law of the land.The research process at SPSU is cognizant of diverse populations and allows for the protection of vulnerable groups. Respect for privacy shall include being sensitive to the personal as well as culturally defined private space of stake holders and research participants so as to avoid infringing upon the same. Further, the research would focus on collecting only such data/information that is germane to the purpose of research undertaken and protecting their confidentiality after the data is collected.

3. Responsibility

Researchers at SPSU shall be aware of their professional responsibilities while undertaking research and shall avoid harming stakeholders and research participants. These professional responsibilities shall include: (a) sensitivity to the current problems of society when framing research objectives and questions; (b) sensitivity to the need to protect dignity & well-being of research participants at all times; (c) avoid engaging in research that impacts the research participants personality or their mental/physical well-being; and (d) report results on vulnerable groups with great care to minimize misuse or misinterpretation of research findings.

4. Competence

All researchers at SPSU shall strive to ensure and maintain high standards of competence in their work with limitations of expertise and competence being recognized clearly where relevant. Faculty at SPSU shall, therefore, only engage in research that they are qualified to take up. In cases where such qualification is lacking or found insufficient, guidance of experts will be formally sought and research carried out under such guidance. Further, faculty & researchers at SPSU shall strive to upgrade themselves continuously so that their research takes up contemporary issues and challenges faced by society.This Code will be reviewed periodically to ensure its continued relevance & effectiveness in ensuring that research at SPSU conforms to the highest standards of rigour, integrity & excellence and strengthened further where required.

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