Code of Ethics in Research

Code of Ethics in Research

A manual for researchers

Research Body

Santipur College, Nadia

Table of Content


Plagiarism is the deliberate use of another’s work without permission, credit, or acknowledgment. Plagiarism can happen at different levels as follows:

Words and phrases
Ideas and concepts
All these parameters can be plagiarised in different ways. Plagiarism can take place as

  1. Literal Copying: Reproducing a work word for word, in whole or in part, without permission and acknowledgment of the original author is the highest level of plagiarism and considered unethical unless appropriate permission is obtained and stated under quote refereeing original author.
  2. Substantial copying:It refers to qualitative and quantitative copying of material from others’ work. Not only words but copying others concept and essence of work is also unethical and comes under plagiarism.
  3. Paraphrasing: It refers to reproducing others work in different words from the original. Paraphrasing is only allowed when the author tries to convey some message from previous work with properly citing the original author.
  4. Text-recycling: It refers to reproducing portions of an author’s own work in a paper and resubmitting it for publication as an entirely new paper. Such duplicate submission is extremely unethical and recommended to be avoided.

Not only does plagiarism violate the standard code of conduct governing all researchers, but in many cases it could constitute an infraction of the law by infringing on a copyright held by the original author or publisher. An author should cite the work of others even if he or she had been a co-author or editor of the work to be cited or had been an adviser or student of the author of such work.

Researchers have to ensure proper citation of referred work as per the existing rules and regulation. The Research Body, Santipur College, recommends the researchers to run the manuscript through an appropriate plagiarism checking tool such as Turnitin, iThenticate etc. to identify plagiarised text.

The misuse of privileged information taken from a grant application or manuscript received from a funding agency or journal editor for peer review is probably the most serious form of plagiarism and considered as theft. As a matter of fact plagiarism deprives the author to procure his/her originality and as such destroys the intellectual property of the author. Also, one who breaches confidentiality by showing a privileged unpublished document to an unauthorized person can be held responsible for any subsequent plagiarism of the document committed by that unauthorized person.

The integrity of data; Use, misuse, and abuse: Falsification and fabrication of data is a serious misconduct in research. Unethical using of photo editing tools and software should be restricted and should be properly cited and referred in Methods with exact intent of the application.

Excessive tampering of image data beyond adjusting the color, brightness, contrast and other features are considered as research misconduct. Any adjustment that compromises with the meaningful information delivered by the image will be taken as misconduct.

Researchers are encouraged to keep a meticulous record and appropriate electronic back-up of all data and results which provide an accurate contemporaneous account of observations that become a permanent reference for the long term. Retrieving the same form memory might lead to a compromise with the integrity of research data.

Modifying an approved protocol in the midst of a clinical or epidemiological study or changing the character of an approved study (e.g., from an exploratory to a confirmatory study) without prior approval is improper and could be viewed as research misconduct. Expenditure of government grant funds for fabricated or falsified research is violation of research ethics and considered as crime under Indian Penal Code, and those responsible for the same may be subjected to prosecution for treachery or deceit with the motive of restoring the funds to the government in the form of a fine or imprisonment.

Research Body holds the right to ask for any data in its raw format as and when required.

Ownership and access:

Research data obtained in studies performed at the Santipur College and/or by employees of the college are not the property of the researcher who generated or observed them or even of the principal investigator of the research group. They belong to the Santipur College, which can be held accountable for the integrity of the data even if the researchers have left the University.

Reasonable access to data, however, should normally not be denied to any member of the research group in which the data were collected. If there is any possibility that a copyright or patent application might emerge from the group project, a written agreement within the group should specify the rights, if any, of each member of the group to the intellectual property. A researcher who has made a finding which may be patentable should file an Invention Disclosure with college authority through the Research Body.

Data should be stored securely for at least seven years after completion of the project, submission of the final report to a sponsoring agency, or publication of the research, whichever comes last. The Researcher must inform and submit all the documentation regarding reports of utilization submitted to the funding agency, publication generated out of the research grant or any other outcome in terms of publication of seminar report, conference abstract etc to the Research Body.

Publication must give appropriate credit to all authors for their roles in the research. If more than one person contributes significantly, the decision of which names are to be listed as co-authors should reflect the relative contributions of various participants in the research. The exact contribution of authors might be asked to submit to research body if needed even if not required by the journal where the research is to be published.

A person’s name should not be listed as an author without his or her knowledge, permission, and review of the final version of the manuscript that includes the names of all co-authors. A disclaimer that all the authors have read the manuscript and agreed to publish in the present format of the manuscript must be given.

It is improper to submit the same manuscript to more than one journal at the same time. Very often journals specify that a submitted work should not have been published or submitted for publication elsewhere, and some journals require that a submitted manuscript be accompanied by a statement to that effect.

The same rule is applied to the submission of abstract to the seminars and conferences.

Research body, Santipur College encourages researchers to publish in open access journal for a broader visibility and free public access to research work. However, research body must have access to all publication generated by research performed at Santipur College or by the employee of Santipur College.

When an investigator, author, editor, or reviewer has a financial/personal interest or belief that could affect his/her objectivity, or inappropriately influence his/her actions, a potential conflict of interest exists.

Such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties. The most obvious conflicts of interest are financial relationships such as:

  1. Direct: employment, stock ownership, grants, patents.
  2. Indirect: honoraria, consultancies to sponsoring organizations, mutual fund ownership, paid expert testimony.

Undeclared financial conflicts may seriously undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and the science itself. An example might be an investigator who owns stock in a pharmaceutical company that is commissioning the research. Conflicts can also exist as a result of personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion.

An example might be a researcher who has:

  1. A relative who works at the company whose product the researcher is evaluating.
  2. A self-serving stake in the research results (e.g. potential promotion/ career advancement based on outcomes).
  3. Personal beliefs that are in direct conflict with the topic he/she is researching.

All such conflicts of interest must be declared in all the documentation of research.

A principal investigator, who leads a research group, must not only put together the research group but also arrange for the assembly of an adequate financial and administrative structure to support the research.

A supervisor not only provides guidance and advice to individual members of the group in the responsible conduct of the research but also has ultimate responsibility for the scientific integrity of the whole research project.

He or she should thus take all reasonable steps to check the details of experimental procedures and the validity of the data or observations reported by members of the group, including periodic reviews of primary data in addition to summary tables, graphs, and oral reports prepared by members of the group.

It is the responsibility of the PI to collect, maintain and communicate experimental data within the research group and to the research body as and when required.

An investigator serves not only as a research manager with respect to members of the research group but also as a mentor responsible for the intellectual and professional development of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty in the group, including awareness and sensitivity to issues in research ethics.

Encouragement should be given to students and other junior researchers to report their research progress regularly both in oral and written modes and to present completed work at regional or national meetings.

Senior investigators must promptly review drafts of student theses or dissertations and provide timely feedback and take the help of research body regarding the matter if required.

A supervisor should not have a research group larger than the recommended number as specified by the University Grant Commission, India such that he/she can manage all the incumbent responsibility effectively and successfully.

The Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) is a statutory body formed by the Act of the Indian Parliament under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 that regulates the use of animal in research. Under this law, all institutions are recommended to have an Institutional Animal Ethics Committee (IAEC) that will supervise and keep an account of animal research in the institution.

Santipur College does not have any facility to carry out research on experimental animals. Therefore, investigators are requested to obtain the appropriate permission of IAEC of the institution where they plan to carry out the research on animals.

Similarly, any research involving human trial or r-DNA based gene manipulation in living subjects must accompany a letter of approval from the corresponding ethics committee.

Plagiarism Declaration Form