One-Click Concordats: An Overview of UK Research-Related Concordats

There are currently six concordats pertaining to research in the UK, which are hosted on a variety of different platforms. This post provides an overview of the principles and provides links to the full documents, so you can locate them more easily and get a sense of the breadth of work going on and UK research standards. 

A useful resource for researchers and research professionals.

Concordat to Support Research Integrity (revised 2019)
1.  Upholding the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research 
2. Ensuring that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards 
3. Supporting a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice, and support for the development of researchers 
4. Using transparent, timely, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise 
5. Working together to strengthen the integrity of research and to review progress regularly and openly 

Available from:  https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Documents/2019/the-concordat-to-support-research-integrity.pdf 
 

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (revised in 2019 and now a living document)
1. Environment and culture: Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture
2. Employment: Researchers are recruited, employed and managed under conditions that recognise and value their contributions
3. Professional and career development: Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential 

Available from: https://www.vitae.ac.uk/policy/concordat/full
 

Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research 
1. UK research organisations have a strategic commitment to public engagement.
2. Researchers are recognised and valued for their involvement with public engagement activities.
3. Researchers are enabled to participate in public engagement activities through appropriate training, support and opportunities.4. The signatories and supporters of this Concordat will undertake regular reviews of their and the wider research sector’s progress in fostering public engagement across the UK.

 

Available from: https://www.ukri.org/public-engagement/research-council-partners-and-public-engagement-with-research/embedding-public-engagement/


Concordat on Open Research Data
1. Open access to research data is an enabler of high quality research, a facilitator of innovation and safeguards good research practice.
2. There are sound reasons why the openness of research data may need to be restricted but any restrictions must be justified and justifiable.
3. Open access to research data carries a significant cost, which should be respected by all parties.
4. The right of the creators of research data to reasonable first use is recognised.
5. Use of others’ data should always conform to legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks including appropriate acknowledgement.
6. Good data management is fundamental to all stages of the research process and should be established at the outset.
7. Data curation is vital to make data useful for others and for long-term preservation of data.
8. Data supporting publications should be accessible by the publication date and should be in a citeable form.
9. Support for the development of appropriate data skills is recognised as a responsibility for all stakeholders.
10. Regular reviews of progress towards open research data should be undertaken.

 

Available from: https://www.ukri.org/funding/information-for-award-holders/data-policy/
 

Concordat on Openness on Animal Research
1. We will be clear about when, how and why we use animals in research.
2. We will enhance our communications with the media and public.
3. We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public.

Available from: http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/policy/concordat-openness-animal-research/
 

Concordat for the Advancement of Knowledge Exchange in Higher Education in England (under consultation; finalised version expected later in 2019)
 

1. Mission: Knowledge exchange is a recognised part of the overall university strategy. We have a clear understanding of the institutional role and the purpose of KE and whom the intended beneficiaries are.
2. Policies: We have clear policies on all the types of KE that we undertake and we ensure they are understood by staff, students, collaborators and beneficiaries.
3. Engagement: We have clear access points, engagement mechanisms and policies developed to suit the needs of a wide range of beneficiaries working with institutions as publicly funded bodies.
4. Working effectively: We make sure that our partners and beneficiaries understand the ethical and charitable regulatory environments in which our institution operates and we take steps to maximise the benefit to them within that context.
5. Capacity building: We ensure that our staff and students are developed and trained appropriately to understand and undertake their roles and responsibilities in the delivery of successful KE.
6. Recognition and rewards: We recognise the achievements of our staff and students who perform high-quality KE activities.
7. Continuous improvement: We proactively strive to share best practice with our peers and have established processes for learning from this.
8. Evaluating success: We undertake regular institutional and collective monitoring and review of our strengthening KE performance using this concordat and through regional, national or international benchmarks to inform the development and execution of a programme of continuous improvement.

 

Available from: https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Pages/knowledge-exchange-concordat-consultation.aspx