Responsible Conduct of Research

Conducting research in a responsible and ethical manner is a critical skill to develop. In doing so, you are ensuring that your research does not violate any laws and that the validity of your findings is viewed, and respected by, the peers in your field.

In order for the results of research and creative scholarship to be reliable and useful to the larger public it must be conducted with the highest principles.  As such, an important first step in conducting research is to make sure that you are in compliance with federal and state regulations.


  • If you are conducting research and creative scholarship with a faculty mentor on their project, they should be advising you on any compliance issues and providing you with the appropriate training needed to conduct your research.
  • If you are conducting your own research project it is your responsibility to make sure you are doing it responsibly and ethically.

Potential Issues

There are many compliance issues regarding research methods and ethics that need to be addressed prior to beginning research, including:

  • Responsibly collecting, managing, and sharing data
  • Research involving potential hazards, such as chemicals, materials, toxins, etc…
  • Research involving human subjects or animals
  • Publication practices and responsible authorship

UO Resources

The Research Compliance Services office at the University of Oregon exists to assist faculty, staff, and students with navigating the complex federal and state research compliance regulations.  Generally, there are three areas that you need to be concerned about regarding compliance:

  • Human Subjects Research: If your research project will involve interaction with human subjects you may need to get Institutional Review Board approval before conducting research.  See the website for more details.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research: Training and education that provides a basic understanding of research compliance and integrity issues.
  • Animal Care Services: If your research project will involve the use of animals.

If you have any questions about research compliance you should speak with your faculty mentor first – – they should be able to provide you with the proper guidance. If you are conducting research on your own you should contact RCS directly.