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Dissemination of Research Outputs Procedure

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Section 1 - Context

(1) This procedure promotes an environment of honesty, rigour, transparency, fairness, and accountability in the dissemination and reporting of the outcomes of research and is aligned to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018, its supporting guide on authorship, and RMIT Research Policy.

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Section 2 - Authority

(2) Authority for this document is established by the Research Policy.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This procedure applies to all staff, students, visiting researchers and honorary and adjunct appointees undertaking or supporting research at all RMIT Group and external research locations, and any research RMIT is obliged to consider.

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Section 4 - Procedure

Researcher Responsibilities

(4) When disseminating and promoting research outcomes, researchers will do so responsibly and broadly. This includes:

  1. ensuring the integrity and quality of the research findings and observations
  2. accurate acknowledgements, affiliation and referencing
  3. disseminating outputs using appropriate methods
  4. reporting outputs accurately to your institution and on your research record
  5. respecting restrictions on dissemination.

(5) Responsible, accurate, and broad dissemination of research embodies the principles of honesty, rigour, transparency, fairness, recognition, and accountability in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 and the RMIT Values of Integrity, Courage, Passion, and Impact.

Research Output Quality

(6) To ensure the quality of research outputs, researchers will:

  1. base the work on responsible research and conclusions that are justified by the results of the research
  2. disseminate a full and accurate account of the research, including (where possible) negative outcomes and results contrary to their hypotheses, and
  3. have the work peer reviewed and quality assured (or equivalent) prior to dissemination, in line with responsible practice in the discipline. Refer to the relevant library guides for further information (see Resources section below).

(7) Where research is disseminated via the media, open-access pre-print repositories, or non-research groups, researchers will seek internal review from their peers.

(8) Researchers will declare and manage any actual or potential conflicts of interest in line with RMIT’s Conflict of Interest Policy and other relevant guidelines, such as those of the publisher or publication.

(9) Researchers will distinguish between professional comments based on based on research or relevant scholarly expertise and opinions based on personal views.

(10) Researchers will meet the principles and responsibilities of the Australian Code and take all reasonable steps to ensure their research findings or observations are trustworthy and properly communicated and reported. Where researchers become aware of misleading or inaccurate statements in their work, they will take reasonable actions to correct the record as soon as possible. This could involve corrections or retractions to a publication and will be done in line with the publisher or publication’s guidelines.

Acknowledgements, Affiliation and Referencing

(11) When disseminating research outputs, researchers will not present another person’s work, idea, or creation as though it is their own. The work of others will be cited, acknowledged, and referenced appropriately, accurately, and in a manner consistent with discipline norms.

(12) When disseminating research outputs, researchers will acknowledge all authors, contributions (including financial and in-kind support), funding bodies, and affiliations (including attributing RMIT as the host institution) in line with the Authorship of Research Outputs Procedure.

(13) When promoting research outputs for publicity purposes, RMIT University will acknowledge all relevant partner institutions and sponsors involved in collaborative research.

(14) Researchers will not disseminate duplicate or redundant research outputs that are identical or highly similar to previous research outputs without citation to previous research outputs. Researchers will:

  1. when submitting the work, disclose to the publisher that identical or substantially similar work has been published or has been submitted to another publisher; 
  2. when disseminating the work, disclose that the work has been disseminated elsewhere; 
  3. fully cross-reference within the outputs, such as a series of closely related works or a review article;
  4. develop complete work from a previous research output, such as an abstract or conference presentation;
  5. disclose translation into another language and acknowledge the original source.

(15) Researchers, wherever appropriate, will cite primary literature in which observations are first reported rather than reviews in order to give credit where credit is due.

(16) Research outputs based on research that required ethics approval, a regulatory permit or other discipline-specific approval will reference the permits or approvals in line with discipline norms.

(17) Researchers will take all reasonable steps to obtain permission from the original publisher or copyright owner before republishing their own or others’ research findings.

Dissemination of Research Findings

(18) RMIT encourages researchers to disseminate research findings broadly to increase the reach and impact of research, make a greater contribution to public knowledge and share the benefits of research with other researchers, practitioners and the wider community.

(19) Researchers may disseminate research using a wide variety of means, (including academic journals, books, conference papers, exhibitions, presentations, performances, media interviews, participation in debates and providing public statements) and to a wide range of audiences (such as professional organisations, peer researchers, policy makers and the community).

(20) Researchers will respect restrictions on dissemination as prescribed by this procedure.

(21) Researchers will disseminate in reputable outlets that provide quality assurance and peer review (or equivalent) in line with good research practice and discipline norms. Researchers will take active steps to ensure that any publisher or other outlet is of good standing and avoid predatory outlets or those with low standing in the discipline.

(22) Where it is a funding requirement, researchers will ensure that their research results are available via open access. If researchers are unable to do so, they must fulfill funding body requirements in this area (for example, the ARC and NHMRC require the researcher to include an explanation in the final report for the relevant grant if the researcher is unable to disseminate an open access copy of a research output within 12 months from the date of publication). For more information, see the NHMRC Open Access Policy and ARC Open Access Policy.

(23) Researchers should, where appropriate, consider registering their research plans or protocols prior to the commencement of research. See the Resources section which contains various options for registration.

(24) RMIT strongly encourages researchers to create a comprehensive ORCID profile and link it to their RMIT profile. For more information and guidance see the RMIT Library Guide for Registering for an ORCID iD.

Reporting Research Outputs

(25) Researchers will report research outputs to the Research Office that meet the reporting criteria following relevant instructions on the Researcher Portal, so that the achievements of RMIT’s research community can be appropriately acknowledged and reported, and so that resources can be allocated accordingly.

(26) Where possible, researchers will ensure a digital version of their peer-reviewed research outputs is available on the RMIT Research Repository as soon as possible or within twelve (12) months of dissemination, following relevant instructions on the Researcher Portal.

(27) Researchers will ensure that the information about their research activity and track record as it appears on their CV, job applications, grant applications, reports and public statements is accurate. This includes accuracy regarding:

  1. the type of output (journal article, book etc.)
  2. the status of the output (in preparation, submitted, under review, accepted for publication, in press, peer reviewed or not)
  3. the role of the researchers (author, editor, etc.)
  4. the status of research funding (applied for, granted, funding period, role of funder in the research or its dissemination); and
  5. any awards conferred.

(28) Researchers will use a range of article metrics and indicators on personal/supporting statements as evidence of the impact of individual published articles and other research outputs.

Respecting Restrictions on Dissemination

(29) When communicating research outcomes, researchers will respect any restrictions due to the following requirements:

  1. authorship, copyright and licensing standards
  2. intellectual property rights
  3. contractual arrangements
  4. confidentiality
  5. personal information/privacy issues
  6. cultural sensitivities
  7. ethics requirements and institutional ethics processes/policy documents; and
  8. RMIT policy, in particular the Intellectual Property Policy and Privacy Policy
  9.  potential misuse
  10. compliance with export controls.

(30) Researchers will provide research participants with a summary of the outcomes prior to communicating research outcomes, where possible. This may not be possible, for example, in research projects where consent is waived or qualified.

(31) Before informing the media about their research outcomes, researchers should inform those directly impacted by the research both about the research outcomes and that they are informing the media.

(32) Researchers will be aware of and abide by the terms and conditions of publication agreements with journals or other publishers. Publication agreements are legal documents and often involve the assignment of copyright and restrictions on republication of work.

(33) Where possible, researchers will retain the right to republish their research outcomes (for example, by only granting a non-exclusive licence to publishers or using a creative commons licence). Where this is not possible (for example, due to contractual obligations or an embargo) researchers will gain any required permissions (for example, permission from the original publisher) before republishing research outcomes.

Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence tools and services

(34) Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and services for dissemination of research will meet the principles of the Australian Code including honesty, rigour, transparency, fairness, and accountability. 

(35) Researchers will respect and comply with regulatory, ethical and other requirements or conditions that may apply to information when using AI tools and services.

(36) Researchers will review and revise content produced by AI tools and services where required.

(37) Researchers will declare, attribute, and acknowledge use of AI tools and services. Use of AI tools and services will be documented in suitable parts of a research output such as methods and/or acknowledgements sections of a research publication and/or in image descriptions.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(Note: Commonly defined terms are in the RMIT Policy Glossary. Any defined terms below are specific to this policy).
Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence refers to computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence. This includes Generative AI, a collection of automated technologies that can be used to generate text, data, imagery, audio, and a variety of other media that is often indistinguishable from human-generated content.
Dissemination shares the benefits and results of research with a diverse audience of potential beneficiaries, such as other researchers, consumers, industry, policy-makers, and the public.
Open access
The practice of providing online access to research information that is free of charge to the reader, including peer reviewed articles and research data.
Peer review
The impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field. Peer review has a number of important roles in research and research management, in the assessment of grant applications.
Research repository
RMIT's Research Repository is a free, publicly accessible repository of all RMIT research publications. Availability of full-text is in accordance to the relevant publisher policies.
Research output
Tangible and intangible research findings. This includes traditional and non-traditional research outputs (e.g., original creative works, performances and exhibitions) and non-refereed publications (e.g., conferences, reports, interviews, pre-prints and social media), as well as other scholarly work (e.g., reports and part of applications for research grants and forms of financial support. It does not apply to theses but it may apply to papers that form part of a thesis with publication.
Research publication
The formal dissemination of research findings in a public forum whether in a printed, electronic or other tangible form. Publication is more than the production of a book or document. It includes quality control through processes such as expert assessment or peer review, as well as editing, copy-editing, design, and conversion of the work to an appropriate format. Source: 1.3.4 2014 Higher Education Research Data Collection specification