What are RIAs?

RIAs are experienced researchers who have undertaken further training in research integrity. The role of RIAs at RMIT University is to assist in the promotion and fostering of responsible research conduct and provide advice to those with questions or concerns about the responsible conduct of research.

RIAs have an understanding of the policies and codes that provide guidance for research integrity at RMIT University, and have practical experience that enables them to translate this guidance into real-world advice. Additionally, RIAs are knowledgeable about and can explain RMIT’s Research Misconduct Policy Process, which defines the process by which potential breaches of research integrity are addressed.

The role of RIAs is only to provide advice. RIAs do not have an investigative or determinative role in dealing with potential breaches of research integrity.

When should you speak to an RIA?

If you have any questions or concerns about the conduct of research at the University (or elsewhere), then you should speak to an RIA.

It may be that you think authorship on a publication hasn't been fairly decided, you’re not sure whether a methodology is appropriate, you suspect someone is making up results, or you believe someone has stolen your original work. If it relates to the conduct of research and you feel uncertain about it, then you should speak to an RIA.

RIAs are also aware of other University processes, like those for dealing with bullying and discrimination.

Meeting with an RIA

Before the meeting

Like all members of the University, RIAs have a responsibility to report serious breaches of research integrity. This means that we cannot say that the discussions that you might have with a RIA are 'confidential'. There may be occasions where an RIA will need to report a concern even if the person seeking their advice doesn't want it to go any further (this will only be for the most serious research integrity breach matters).

If you wish to maintain the confidentiality of a situation, think about how you can describe the situation hypothetically. This means that the RIA does not have enough information to identify the people involved and so can't refer the matter further, but can still provide you with the right advice about the best next steps.

This might feel like a tricky discussion to have, but the RIAs are experienced at these discussions and understand where the boundary is between something that they need to report themselves or where they can leave it up to you.

You should also think about any evidence that you have access to that will help the RIA make a proper assessment of the situation. For example, written agreements, drafts of manuscripts or altered images. It isn't your job to collect all the evidence but if there are things that you can get hold of it will be helpful.

During the discussion

The RIA will listen to you and will ask questions so that she or he has enough information to offer you some advice. You might wish to bring someone along with you as a 'support person'. The RIA may also have someone with them to help take notes so that they can concentrate on the discussion with you.

After the discussion

After the discussion, your RIA will provide you with advice. Sometimes your RIA may need to consult with other experts in the University about the best way to proceed and to make sure that you are getting the best advice. This may take a couple of days. The RIA will make sure that these discussions are discreet and won't be 'broadcasting' any details. This is another reason why we can't say that the discussions held between RIAs and people seeking their advice are confidential, but it certainly doesn't mean that the discussion will become widely known or talked about.

Sometimes, the RIA may refer you to other parts of the University.

Contact an RIA

Any RMIT staff member can contact any of the below RIAs. You are not required to speak to one in your school (or to the RIA in a school equivalent to an RMIT Vietnam school).

Area Research Integrity Advisors
College of Business  
School of Management Professor Adela McMurray
School of Business IT and Logistics Professor Alemayehu Molla
Graduate School of Business and Law Associate Professor Marta Poblet Balcell
School of Accounting Professor Alan Lowe
College of Science, Engineering and Health  
School of Engineering Distinguished Professor Arnan Mitchell
School of Engineering Distinguished Professor Irene Yarovsky
School of Engineering Associate Professor Majidreza Nazem
School of Engineering Professor Naba Dutta
School of Engineering Associate Professor Olga Troynikov
School of Science Professor Mark Shortis
School of Science Professor Andrew Greentree
School of Health and Biomedical Sciences Professor Emilio Badoer
College of Design and Social Context  

School of Architecture and Urban Design

Associate Professor Quentin Stevens

School of Fashion and Textiles

Dr Sean Ryan

School of Global, Urban and Social Studies Dr Chris Maylea
School of Media and Communications Associate Professor Catherine Gomes

Further questions

RIAs can be used as an initial resource for support and advice. You can also seek advice from the Research Integrity team at researchintegrity@rmit.edu.au.