Research Integrity: Concise
Conflict of interest
Researchers are often faced with conflicting interests as a normal part of the complex lives they lead. They are expected to be teachers, entrepreneurs, advisors and professional leaders, as well as researchers. Each role comes with its own and potentially conflicting interests. Discovery-orientated researchers usually have an interest in sharing knowledge; entrepreneurial researchers may have an interest in protecting what they discover.
Although not inherently wrong, conflicts of interest (COIs) come with two fundamental responsibilities:
The responsibilities to identify and report are not limited to financial conflicts of interest. The primary interest all researchers presumably have – to advance knowledge for the benefit of society – can be compromised by four basic categories of conflicting interests. Click on the segments in the diagram below to find out more.
This course summarises your responsibilities for identifying and disclosing your conflicts of interests, as set out in:
The course then considers what can go wrong when conflicts of interest are undisclosed, and provides information on conflict of interest policies in Australia.