Scientific Integrity: Responsibilities for contractors and other collaborators
In November of 2018, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) notified federal departments of the requirement to work with Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) representatives to develop and implement Scientific Integrity Policies and procedures by December 31, 2018. The Agency’s Scientific Integrity Policy came into effect on December 13, 2018.
The Agency’s Scientific Integrity Policy applies to all employees. The Agency is also responsible for ensuring that contractors and/or collaborators involved in, or providing services in support of, research, science or related activities are informed of the Policy and encouraged to comply with its provisions and intent. The key points of the Policy, relevant to contractors and other external collaborators (e.g., recipients of grant and contribution funding) are summarized below.
This is a simplified summary of sections of the Agency’s Scientific Integrity Policy that may be relevant to contractors, for informational purposes.
Objectives of the Policy
- Fosters a culture that supports and promotes scientific integrity in the design, conduct, management, review and communication of research, science, and related activities.
- Increases public, employee and stakeholder trust in the credibility and reliability of Agency research and scientific activities.
- Sets out expectations regarding the design, conduct, management, review and communication of research, science, and related activities.
- Enhances employee understanding of the contributions of research and science to evidence-informed decision-making, as well as the role of managers, communication specialists, researchers and scientists in the development of government policy and advice.
Principles of scientific integrity
- Respect relevant and applicable standards of scientific excellence, research ethics, and responsible research conduct. (s. 6.1)
- Ensure that these activities, as well as any research or scientific products or associated communications, are free from political, commercial, client, and stakeholder interference. (s. 6.2)
- Ensure that IAAC research or scientific information is made available to the public in a timely manner. (s. 6.3)
- Represent and acknowledge the contributions of scientists, researchers, and others to IAAC research or scientific work. (s. 6.4)
- Avoid conflicts of interest and ensure that any real, potential or apparent conflict of interest is explicitly recognized, reported and appropriately managed.. (s. 6.5)
- Explicitly and accurately represent differing interpretations of research and scientific evidence where appropriate. (s. 6.6)
- Ensure that the significant and meaningful contribution of researchers and scientists to government programs, policies, regulations, and decision-making is acknowledged in official publications or communications. (s. 6.7)
Speaking publicly about science or research
- Respect any legal restrictions on information disclosure such as privacy rights or matters before the courts, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, and the Access to Information Act. (s. 7.4.2)
- Any public communication which primarily and explicitly describes work conducted by researchers or scientists must be reviewed and approved by them before publication or dissemination, and must acknowledge their contribution(s). In cases where a researcher or scientist does not wish authorship and/or their contribution to be acknowledged, they should be consulted as to whether, in their view, the work is accurately described and findings interpreted appropriately. (s. 7.4.7)
Publishing science or research
- When a consultant uses Agency science, they should consult with the Agency scientist or researcher that provided the data/information (e.g. a report, briefing note, etc.) in order to ensure the data/information is used and interpreted appropriately. (s. 7.5.7)
Culture of scientific integrity
- Understand what may constitute a breach of scientific integrity. (s. 7.8.1, 7.8.2, 9)
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