Ethics and Governance

What is Research Governance?

Research Governance is the broad framework and principles that we use to ensure that the quality of research is consistent with the high standards that are expected of a world-class university. Research Governance includes policies for ensuring that we are compliant with agendas such as research integrity, open access and research data management.

Research Governance improves research by:

Standard Operating Procedures

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The University is committed to ensuring that its research activities minimise risk to participants, researchers, third parties, and to the University itself. All research taking place within the University is required to undertake an appropriate ethical review. 

Find out more about our research ethicsEthics forms and guidance

Good Research Practice

We promote a culture based on principles of academic excellence, inclusivity, honesty, openness, accountability and responsibility. We believe that every one of our researchers should adhere to the highest standards of integrity and we expect individuals to encourage an ethos of good research practice.

We firmly believe in the commitments outlined in the Concordat for Research Integrity and monitor our approach regularly through a  Gap Analysis and Action Plan. A summary of actions and activities that have been undertaken to support and strengthen understanding and application of research integrity issues can be found in the Annual Statments of Commpliance with with the Concordat for Research Integrity:

Our Guidelines for Good Research Practice sets out our approach to ensuring that the highest standards of rigour and integrity in research are maintained across the University. We have also produced a Code of Practice for Dealing with Allegations of Scientific or Ethical Misconduct.

Equality and Diversity

The University firmly believes in equality of opportunity for all researchers. Our vision for equality and diversity supports values set out in the mission of the University. We promote diversity, respect the rights of individuals and promote responsible, ethical behaviour.

We are compliant with RCUK's expectations for equality and diversity and hold a number of awards that demonstrate our commitment to the development of all of our staff. We hold EU HR Excellence Award status for our work to support the Concordat for the Career Development of Researchers and we also hold Athena SWAN bronze certification.

2 year review

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The University has carried out a review of its commitment to the principles of the Concordat in line with the requirements of our current status as an EU HR Excellence award holder. You can read our 2 year review; explore the actions we have taken since 2013 in our Actions Update and read our full 2016 Action plan.

4 year review

The University has submitted documentation to be considered as part of the re-accreditation process which takes place after 4-years. Our submission includes a summary of achievements from the previous cycle as well as our current evidence of compliance and action plans for 2017 onwards.

Code of Practice for the Fair Assessment and Selection of Staff in REF2014

Our REF 2014 Code of Practice was developed as part of our REF2014 submission and underpinned the approach that we took to the selection of staff.

Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access provides free unrestricted access to publically funded research outputs so that all of society can benefit from the findings.

Why is Open Access important?

We firmly believe that research should be shared as widely as possible so that the knowledge we create can have a positive impact on the economy and society. We want our research to be discovered by as many people as possible so that it meets the needs of academic partners, charitable bodies, funders, businesses, end users and the wider public.

Most major funders, including all of the UK Research Councils and some of the larger charitable trusts, already mandate that outputs from their funding must be made freely available and accessible.

HEFCE has announced that all outputs with an ISSN (that is, all journal articles and conference proceedings) must be made Open Access within 3 months from the date of acceptance for publication if they are to be eligible for submission to the next REF. The introduction of the HEFCE OA policy means that all Manchester Met staff are now required to make their work OA compliant. You can do this by submitting your work to e-space, the institutional repository through your Symplectic profile.

Access our research

All our academics deposit copies of their latest research into e-space the University’s institutional repository. Sometimes this work will be fully available and sometimes there is an embargo period from a journal publisher in place, which means that the version you will be able to access within e-space will be the “author final copy”. This means it will still have all of the same content as the final printed version but might not be typeset or organised in exactly the same way.


Visit e-space, the University’s institutional repository

Read our Open Access and Publication Policy

Read the HEFCE policy on Open Access for the post-2014 REF

Research Data Management

Research data management is concerned with the organisation, preservation and sharing of research data. Research Councils UK identifies research data as a ‘public good produced in the public interest which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsive manner’.

Effective management of research data is becoming increasingly important.

  • Funders, such as the EPSRC, expect that individual researchers and their universities are accountable for the management of data from publically funded research.
  • Data can be shared, validated and re-used to improve the economic and societal impact of research and to reduce costs.

We believe in the principles of research data management. The University’s Research Data Management policy was approved in January 2015 and underlines our commitment to research excellence through data management. The policy endorses the RCUK Common Principles on Research Data Management and the EPSRC Expectations for Research Data Management.

Visit MMU Library for Guidance

Responsible Metrics

We support the findings and recommendations of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management, chaired by Professor James Wilsdon. We believe that metrics and indicators should be used responsibly and that metrics should be robust in accuracy and scope, humble in recognising the limits of quantitative assessment, transparent, diverse and reflexive.

When we are assessing internal and external research we are very clear that metrics-based assessment cannot be used as the sole indicator of quality alone; that metrics have to be used alongside peer review and expert judgment and that no single metric or indicator should be used in judgments of quality alone. In line with the findings of the Wilsdon review we recognise the limitations of metrics in relation to the coverage of different disciplines and are clear that what may be appropriate in relation to STEM-based subjects will not work for Arts and Humanities subjects.

We encourage all of our staff to sign up for ORCIDs in line with the recommendations of the Wilsdon review and have a range of tools and systems available that all staff can use to review their own profiles.

Legislation and Funder Requirements

Research governance and management is rapidly changing. This page contains links to relevant external legislation and funder requirements and expectation


Research Governance

Funder Expectations

Good Research Practice

Equality and Diversity

Open Access

Research Management Policies and Procedures

For Staff