The College recognises the need for researchers to protect their own research interests and both the College and its funding bodies encourage researchers to be as open as possible. This openness includes such common practices as the scholarly exchange of ideas and data and the submission of work to peer review or to another forum where it can be challenged and questioned without the loss of face. Such an environment is essential not only to the establishment of good scientific conduct, but to the development of good and innovative science itself. Openness also implies that all steps will be taken to avoid, or at least declare, conflicts of interest.
It is important that research output is peer reviewed through the appropriate scientific and professional channels. For externally funded studies this is usually done as part of the application for funds. For internally funded research, the study should be peer reviewed by a person or persons completely independent to the research team with appropriate expertise in the subject area.
It is recommended that research supervisors encourage peer review through regular communication within their research groups, for example through group meetings or the dissemination of written work. There are also local internal peer review procedures which staff should be aware of and comply with.
All those involved in the peer review of others’ work (for example during publication procedures or the review of grants) are expected to act with integrity and objectivity, as well as to treat material confidentially when appropriate and to manage any competing interests, for example by suitable declaration.