Peer review in scientific publications - Science and Technology Committee Contents

Supplementary written evidence submitted by Professor Ian A Walmsley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research, Academic Services and University Collections), University of Oxford (PR 73a)

Please find appended responses to the Committee's questions:

1.  The University has published guidelines on its research integrity website ( about good practice in publication and authorship ( and peer review ( This website also provides information about related training (both online and "in-person") available through the University's Research Skills tool-kit to all Oxford staff and students ( and other related resources (eg from the US Office of Research Integrity at The University runs an annual series of research integrity seminars delivered by a range of high-profile and internationally renowned speakers (details of previous series, including visual presentations and audio podcasts of the lectures is available at Extensive online advice for undergraduate and graduate students about good academic practice, is available from , which includes detailed information and online training about the seriousness of plagiarism, why this should be avoided, and the University's procedures in cases of suspected plagiarism (

2.  The University's "Academic Integrity in Research: Code of Practice and Procedure" is available at and sets out the "University" standards for research conducted by its staff, students and anyone working on University premises or using University facilities. It also defines misconduct in research for the purpose of the Code and sets out the University's procedures for responding to and investigating allegations of misconduct in research. Such allegations are always taken seriously and there are rigorous procedures for investigating any alleged offence. The responsibility for investigating these matters lies with the University's most senior officers (in the case of staff members, this is the Registrar; for students, this is the Proctors' Office).

Although the details of such allegations or enquiries are not made publicly available, the University regularly reports externally on allegations and cases of research misconduct, for example to the UK Research Integrity Office, to the US Office of Research Integrity and to Research Councils UK. Where the research in question involves a third party, for example an external funder of research such as the Medical Research Council or the Wellcome Trust, the University is careful to ensure that the third party is kept closely informed of how the case is handled and the outcome of any investigation.

June 2011

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Prepared 28 July 2011