Responsible Research & Innovation (3.0)

Credit Language

AC 8: Responsible Research & Innovation – Version 3.0


  • 8.1. Published ethical code of conduct for research
  • 8.2. Recognition of integrated, community-based, and extra-academic research
  • 8.3. Inter-campus collaboration for responsible research and innovation
  • 8.4. Support for open access publishing

Questions & Answers

How has this credit changed between STARS Version 2 and Version 3?

This is a new credit in STARS that captures information found in 2.2 research credits, as well as new indicators to recognize published research codes of conduct, community-based research, research outside of academic journals, and inter-campus collaboratives. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the STARS 3.0 Summary of changes.

What qualifies as a published ethical code of conduct for research (Indicator 8.1)?

To count, a publicly accessible set of guidelines related to ethical procedures for conducting research at an institution must be provided. Examples include:

What qualifies as inter-campus collaboration for responsible research and innovation?

To claim point for indicator 8.3, the institution must be engaged in a cross-institution collaborative or network that has an explicit mission to promote responsible research and innovation (RRI) (e.g., RRING) or that actively addresses at least one of the following:

  • Public engagement in research and innovation (e.g. a participatory research community of practice or citizen science initiative)
  • The accessibility of scientific results (e.g., a network that aims to expand open access to published scientific research).
  • The take up of gender and ethics in research and innovation content and process (e.g., a collaborative that aims to advance gender balance on research teams or gender equality in research proposals).
  • Formal and informal science education (e.g., organized initiatives to make science education more inclusive, open, and responsive to community needs).

Suggestions for Institutions

  • Design upcoming sustainability engagement programs and activities with assessment in mind to facilitate reporting under Indicator 1.2.

Potential Data Quality Issues

  • Indicator 8.1. Ethical code of conduct for research – If reporting Yes, documentation provided must reference a code of conduct or similar policy statement that is focused on ethical research practices. Policies that don’t reference ethics in research are not sufficient.  
  • Indicator 8.2. Integrated, community-based, and extra-academic research – “Yes” responses must be supported in the descriptive fields.
  • Indicator 8.3. To qualify, an inter-campus collaborative or network that promotes responsible research and innovation must be referenced.
  • Indicator 8.4. To support a Yes response under Criterion 8.4.B and/or 8.4.C for open access policies, a policy requiring employees to publish scholarly works open access is required. The policy may allow for publisher embargoes and/or provide a waiver option, but this must be clarified in the descriptive text or policy upload.

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