Policy on Scientific and Indigenous Knowledge Integrity

On this page

  1. Effective date
  2. Context
  3. Authorities
  4. Objectives and expected results
  5. Application
  6. Scientific integrity principles
  7. Requirements
  8. Responsibilities
  9. Definitions
  10. Enquiries
  11. Resources

1. Effective date

This policy takes effect on September 4, 2019.

2. Context

This policy is issued pursuant to the May 15, 2017 and June 1, 2017 Memoranda of Agreement between the Treasury Board and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) in Respect of Scientific Integrity.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) works to renew nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationships between Canada and First Nations, Inuit and Métis; modernize Government of Canada structures to enable Indigenous peoples to build capacity and support their vision of self-determination; and, leads the Government of Canada's work in the North.

In working to fulfill the department's mandate, CIRNAC will strive to safeguard, incorporate, and respect the multitude of perspectives Indigenous knowledge and culture provides to science and decision-making.

As such, this policy speaks to scientific integrity, while acknowledging the need for, and importance of Indigenous voices, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. Implementation of this policy will include a companion document, focused on Indigenous Knowledge, that is broadly consulted and based on best practices established by Indigenous partners. This policy and the companion document will be evergreen. As starting points for addressing scientific and Indigenous Knowledge integrity, advice and feedback for incorporation into next iterations is encouraged and appreciated.

3. Authorities

3.1. This policy should be read in consultation with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector as adopted April 2, 2012, the Directive on the Management of Communications, and the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment.

3.2. Where there is conflict or incompatibility between this policy and legislation and/or a provision of any relevant collective agreement, the provisions of the legislation or relevant collective agreement take precedence.

3.3. Where there is conflict or incompatibility between this policy and a mandatory policy instrument of the Treasury Board (i.e. policy, directive or standard), the provisions of the Treasury Board mandatory policy instrument take precedence.

3.4. Where there is conflict or incompatibility between this policy and a voluntary policy instrument of the Treasury Board (i.e. guidelines or tools), the provisions of this policy take precedence.

3.5. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will maintain a record of all instances of conflict or incompatibility between this policy and legislation, collective agreements, or Treasury Board policy instruments and/or CIRNAC policy instruments, and submit this record as part of the performance evaluation as per s. 7.9 of this policy.

3.6. In consultation with representatives of PIPSC, the Deputy Head has authority to support science integrity by establishing relevant and applicable standards for the design, conduct, management, review and communication of research and science within CIRNAC.

4. Objectives and expected results

The objectives of this policy are to:

4.1. Foster a culture that supports and promotes integrity in the design, conduct, management, review and communication of research, science, and related activities.

4.2. Increase public, employee and stakeholder trust in the credibility and reliability of CIRNAC research and scientific activities.

4.3. Commit that Indigenous Knowledge will be given due consideration alongside science in decision-making, and will be used to the benefit of Indigenous people and communities.

4.4 Commit that departmental science and research activities will occur with the participation of and to the benefit of Indigenous people and communities.

4.5 Set out expectations regarding the design, conduct, management, review and communication of research, science, and related activities.

4.6 Enhance employee understanding of the contributions of research and science to evidence-informed decision-making, as well as the role of managers, communication specialists, researchers and scientists in the development of government policy and advice.

The expected results of this policy are that:

4.7. Employees involved in the design, conduct, management, review, use or communication of research, science, or related activities understand and conduct themselves in manner consistent with the principles of scientific integrity.

4.8. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is recognized by employees, stakeholders, and the public as a reliable and credible source of research and scientific information.

4.9. The efficacy and positive impact of departmental activities to Indigenous people and communities are increased through use of Indigenous Knowledge alongside science, research, and decision-making activities.

4.10 Foster department-wide respect for science and Indigenous Knowledge as 2 ways of knowing, and retain integrity of both science and Indigenous Knowledge.

4.11 Rights holders are more open to participate in government processes that consider, use, and protect Indigenous Knowledge.

4.12 As appropriate and to the extent possible, allegations of breach of the principles of scientific integrity as defined in s. 6 are addressed through a fair, impartial, efficient, confidential and respectful process.

4.13 Employees understand and seek to enhance the contributions of research and science to science advice, government policy and evidence-informed decision-making.

5. Application

5.1. This policy applies to CIRNAC employees who design, conduct, communicate, manage, review or make use of CIRNAC research, science or related activities.

5.2. It is encouraged that private sector organizations and individuals who perform work on behalf of the department (e.g., suppliers, contractors, and collaborators) comply with the provisions of this policy.

5.3. Nothing in this policy supersedes any relevant collective agreements. Neither does the policy extend provisions of relevant collective agreements to employees not subject to those agreements.

6. Scientific integrity principles

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes that stakeholder trust in the research and scientific information provided by governments depends upon the integrity of the process by which such information is produced, managed and communicated. So too does trust in the decision-making process that makes use of such information.

Furthermore, CIRNAC recognizes that scientists and researchers must uphold and conform to standards of excellence accepted by the wider research, scientific, and Indigenous communities and organizations throughout all stages of our work. This will be undertaken with the ultimate objective to better understand and incorporate science and Indigenous Knowledge into departmental undertakings.

To this end, in designing, conducting, managing, reviewing, using or communicating research, science and related activities, CIRNAC employees shall:

6.1. Ensure that all such activities are carried out in a manner that is consistent with all relevant and applicable standards of scientific excellence, research ethics, and responsible conduct. Employees will recognize the unique considerations essential for conducting work with, or on behalf, of Indigenous peoples and their communities. First Nations, Métis, and Inuit will be given due consideration in relation to work conducted by or in collaboration with the department. As such, employees will provide attention and adhere to culturally appropriate protocols.

6.2. Ensure that the conduct of CIRNAC research, science and any research or scientific products, as well as any associated communications, are free from political, commercial, client and stakeholder interference.

6.3 Ensure respect for Indigenous Knowledge, including Indigenous community rights and interests in their information.

6.4. In the absence of clear and compelling reasons for limiting disclosure, ensure that research and scientific information produced by CIRNAC is made available to the public in a timely manner and in keeping with the Government of Canada's Directive on Open Government.

6.5. Accurately represent and appropriately acknowledge the contributions of both themselves and others to their research or scientific work.

6.6. Avoid conflicts of interest, and ensure that any real, potential or apparent conflict of interest is explicitly recognized, reported and appropriately managed.

6.7. Encourage discussion based on differing interpretations of research and scientific evidence as a legitimate and necessary part of the research and scientific processes and, where appropriate, ensure that these differences are made explicit and accurately represented.

6.8 Ensure that all data and information shared by Indigenous peoples or groups is respected and treated with the appropriate duty of care to safeguard that information, and that consent is received prior to dissemination by representational organizations, appointed institutions, or communities to ensure accurate representation prior to publication.

6.9. Ensure that the significant and meaningful contribution of researchers, Indigenous partners, and scientists to government programs, policies, regulations, and decision-making is acknowledged in official publications or communications, including the names and roles of those who made significant contributions to these products and activities.

6.10. Report any breach of these principles (i.e. a breach of scientific integrity) to their supervisor, manager or designated official.

7. Requirements

7.1. Implementation

7.1.1. This policy will be communicated to all employees by the Deputy Head, with special attention to its implications to CIRNAC communications policies.

7.1.2. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will continue to develop and implement the additional procedures, policies, guidelines, tools, training and professional development opportunities necessary to support this policy.

7.1.3. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will ensure that contractors and/or collaborators involved in, or providing services in support of, research, science or related activities are informed of this policy and encouraged to comply with its provisions and intent.

7.2. Fostering a culture of science integrity

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes 2 complementary approaches to fostering a culture of scientific integrity. One focuses on instilling the virtues that underlie responsible conduct in research and science, the collection and use of Indigenous Knowledge, and other related activities (s. 7.2.1). The second focuses on the procedure for bringing allegations of breaches forward, the investigation of these allegations, and the consequences of a finding that a breach has occurred (s. 7.2.2)

7.2.1. Science virtues

In accordance with relevant collective agreements and the TBS Policy on Learning, Training and Development:

7.2.1.1. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes the importance of research networking with national and international peers and active participation in the business and organization of relevant scientific and professional societies, which form an important part of ensuring scientists and researchers understand and are held to the standards of their communities.

7.2.1.2. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes the importance of the virtues underlying scientific excellence, including intellectual curiosity and honesty, constructive skepticism, meticulousness, avoidance of bias, humility in the discovery and use of science evidence, and the limitations of scientific inquiry. To this end, it will ensure that learning policies support training, education and professional development opportunities that allow employees to further their understanding of, and appreciation for, these virtues.

7.2.1.3. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will ensure its learning policies support training, education, and professional development opportunities to inform and educate employees about responsible conduct in research, research ethics, and the annotation, management and archiving of research and scientific data including cultural protocols and procedures.

7.2.1.4. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will encourage the development and implementation of a science integrity mentorship program for researchers and scientists, whereby mentors exhibiting exemplary science virtues in their conduct and work are paired with more junior employees.

7.2.2. Indigenous Knowledge virtues

In-line with Chapter 9 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami's National Inuit Strategy on Research, and internal departmental resources:

7.2.2.1. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes the importance of respecting self-determination in research through fostering collaborative working relations with Indigenous partners. Employees will work with Indigenous partners in determining outcomes of research activities that take place in Indigenous communities, or involve Indigenous Knowledge, in order to maximize value of departmental undertakings to Indigenous people and their communities.

7.2.2.2. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will adhere to Indigenous Knowledge protocols that have been developed by Indigenous governments, organizations, or communities, in order to foster respectful, collaborative, and productive working relationships with knowledge holders.

7.2.2.3. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will ensure its learning policies support training, education, and professional development opportunities to inform and educate employees about responsible research conduct, information use, and creating transparency in the review and oversight of research involving Indigenous-Knowledge.

7.2.2.4 Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will encourage collection, interpretation and ownership of Indigenous data in a way that supports Indigenous data sovereignty. Sovereignty in the context of the policy is recognized as remaining within the standard federal government data management regime and will not supersede the Privacy Act, Access to Information Act, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, or other federal and departmental policy instruments, as applicable.

7.2.2.5 Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will encourage implementation of a mentorship program for researchers and scientists, whereby mentors who have established positive working relations with Indigenous partners are paired with more junior employees.

7.2.3 Breaches of scientific integrity

7.2.3.1. In cases of alleged breaches of this policy, employees at all levels shall seek to resolve the issue in a fair and respectful manner and consider informal processes such as dialogue or mediation. In such cases, employees are encouraged to discuss and resolve these matters with their immediate supervisor. They can also seek advice and support from other appropriate sources within CIRNAC.

7.2.3.2. The Deputy Head will appoint a CIRNAC Science Integrity Lead to address allegations of breaches of this policy.

7.2.3.3. The Science Integrity Lead will ensure that alleged breaches of this policy shall be promptly and thoroughly reviewed and investigated by the department.

7.2.3.4. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will endeavor to protect personal information and otherwise provide safeguards to ensure that employees may bring forward, in good faith, allegations of breach of scientific integrity or participate in an investigation procedure without prejudice or fear of reprisal.

7.2.3.5. When public servants have information that could indicate a serious breach of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector they can avail themselves of the procedures laid out in the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.

7.3. Openness, transparency and timeliness

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes and understands the importance of openness and transparency about all elements of the research and scientific process as well as the timely release of scientific and research information. It nonetheless also recognizes that there may be legitimate and compelling reasons that may limit the disclosure or availability of research or scientific information to employees, stakeholders or the public.

7.3.1. This policy, as well as any associated policies, directives or guidelines, may be posted on the department's public website in permission-less downloadable form.

7.3.2. As the current policy and any associated policies, guidelines or tools are amended and revised, CIRNAC will maintain an annotated electronic archive of all such changes, with all archive elements available from the department, through contact information provided in section 10 of this policy.

7.3.3. No CIRNAC employee shall suppress, alter or otherwise impede the timely release of research or scientific information in the absence of clear and compelling reasons for doing so.

7.3.4 Employees will recognize that Indigenous Knowledge should be used, shared, and preserved in ways that maximize benefits to the knowledge holders.

7.3.5. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada employees shall ensure that research and scientific information (including that produced by contractors, grantees, or other partners who participate in, or assist with, the design, conduct, use or management of research, science or related activities) is produced and disseminated in a timely and transparent manner, in the absence of clear and compelling reasons for not doing so.

7.3.6 Employees will provide the opportunity to Indigenous Knowledge providers, their designates, or the appropriate Indigenous representatives/organizations/governments who provided the knowledge to participate in the interpretation of data and the review of research findings prior to finalizing and releasing reports/publications resulting from the research.

7.4. Public communication of research and scientific information

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes the right to freedom of expression by researchers and scientists on matters of research or science. It also recognizes the important role of researchers and scientists in communicating research and scientific information to the public.

Moreover, CIRNAC recognizes that as public servants, scientists, researchers and indeed all employees are subject to the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector as adopted April 2, 2012. It further recognizes the need for caution and prudence in the public communication of classified or sensitive scientific data, research information, and Indigenous Knowledge. This includes existing legal constraints on information disclosure, and encourages the protection of Indigenous Knowledge from unauthorized disclosure and/or misuse. Finally, CIRNAC recognizes that effective public communication requires certain skills, and that researchers and scientists may have different degrees of comfort with public fora.

7.4.1. Researchers and scientists shall have the right, and are encouraged, to speak about or otherwise express themselves on science and their research without approval or pre-approval and without being designated as an official spokesperson. In doing so, they must respect the information disclosure provisions of the Access to Information Act, Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, and any applicable formal research or community engagement plans that have been established.

7.4.2. In any public communications, employees must be familiar with and respect any legal restrictions on information disclosure such as privacy rights, matters before the courts, and cabinet confidences. They must also respect the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector as adopted April 2, 2012, and the Access to Information Act. Unless explicit approval to do so has been given by supervisors or managers, classified or sensitive research or scientific information shall not be discussed in any public communication.

7.4.3. In the case of planned formal public communication events with sufficiently long lead times (e.g. public talks, lectures or community engagement initiatives), employees should notify their supervisor/manager of the upcoming event and provide a copy of their communication material for information purposes only and without prejudice.

7.4.4. In the case of formal public communication events with short lead times (e.g. media interviews) that effectively preclude prior notification, employees should notify their supervisor/manager as soon as possible after the event for information purposes only and without prejudice.

7.4.5. Pursuant to s. 7.4.2 and 7.4.3, CIRNAC will ensure that employees are provided with guidelines consistent with relevant collective agreements and the Directive on the Management of Communications, to assist them in determining the types of public communications for which supervisor/manager notification is desirable or required, and the appropriate timing and form of any such notifications.

7.4.6. Researchers and scientists are under no obligation to act as public CIRNAC subject matter experts or appear in public fora, and may decline any such invitation or request without prejudice, unless explicitly given this task by management.

7.4.7. Any public communication which describes work conducted by researchers or scientists, or includes the use of Indigenous Knowledge, must be reviewed and approved by the researcher(s),their designates or the appropriate Indigenous representatives/organizations/governments who provided the knowledge, as applicable to written documentation, before publication or dissemination, and must acknowledge their contribution(s). In cases where a researcher, scientist or Indigenous Knowledge holder does not wish authorship and/or their contribution to be acknowledged, they should be consulted as to whether, in their view, the work is accurately described and findings interpreted appropriately.

7.4.8. Researchers and scientists are encouraged to participate in media training provided by CIRNAC, but this is not a requirement for them to express themselves about science or their research.

7.4.9. Where a researcher or scientist is speaking in the role of an official spokesperson, they must identify themselves by name and position and speak on the record for public attribution.

7.5. Dissemination of research and scientific findings

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes that communication among researchers and scientists is critical to the development of scientific and scholarly knowledge. Moreover CIRNAC recognizes that its researchers and scientists are part of a global community of scientific and scholarly expertise, their contribution to which is critical to maintaining and enhancing the credibility and reputation of CIRNAC experts, the reputation and credibility of CIRNAC, and the contribution of CIRNAC to the knowledge economy.

As with public communications, researchers or scientists disseminating or communicating information through research or scientific media are subject to, and bound by, the Access to Information Act, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector as adopted April 2, 2012 and must abide by Treasury Board of Canada's Directive on the Management of Communication where it does not conflict with the relevant collective agreements. To this end, CIRNAC must have publication approval processes that are compatible with the relevant collective agreements. Approval to publish will not be unreasonably withheld.

Indigenous-specific data will not be disseminated, shared, or published without first seeking the consent of Indigenous individuals, groups, representational organizations, Indigenous-appointed institutions, or others as indicated from those who have provided the data. Researchers will work with Indigenous partners to increase transparency and seek consent and guidance related to the potential impacts of sharing or publishing research results and/or Indigenous Knowledge.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada publication policies shall be examined to ensure that they are consistent with the following principles and procedures:

7.5.1. Drafts of publications authored by CIRNAC researchers or scientists should be forwarded to their manager or supervisor and discussed in a timely fashion. Where Indigenous Knowledge has been used, a draft will be forwarded to the appropriate Indigenous representatives/organizations/governments who provided the knowledge. An electronic copy of the final version should be provided to the supervisor after acceptance and prior to publication by a publisher or other third party acceptance of the product.

7.5.2. Notwithstanding article 7.5.1, CIRNAC research or scientific communications that do not contain explicit comments or recommendations on, or explicit discussions about, federal statutory, regulatory or policy matters do not require approval of managers, supervisors or other relevant personnel before being submitted for publication or otherwise communicated or disseminated to relevant audiences.

7.5.3. Any communication that includes explicit comments or recommendations on, or explicit discussions about federal statutory, regulatory or policy matters, or that makes use of Indigenous Knowledge does require the approval of managers, supervisors or other relevant personnel before submission for publication or being otherwise communicated or disseminated.

7.5.4. For communications that do require approval, managers, supervisors or other relevant personnel may require revisions or editorial changes. In the event that approval is contingent upon incorporation of such revisions or changes, and the author(s) do not agree with the suggested changes, the work will not be attributed to the employee if the employee so requests. In the event that approval is withheld, the author(s) shall be so informed in writing of the reasons.

7.5.5. In support of Articles 7.5.2 – 7.5.4 and in consultation with PIPSC representatives, CIRNAC will provide guidelines to assist researchers, scientists, managers and supervisors in identifying and distinguishing communications that do/do not require manager or supervisor approval.

7.5.6. The responsible author(s) of any research or scientific communication must ensure that:

  • approval of all listed authors, Indigenous Knowledge providers, and other contributors are obtained;
  • the work in question is not a republication of original work except when the republication involves translation or dissemination to diverse audiences and is consistent with existing standards on republication;
  • all contributions to the work are appropriately acknowledged in a manner conforming to accepted standards of the relevant discipline(s) and publication(s);
  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada authors' federal affiliations are listed;
  • the communication has been subjected to appropriate independent peer review and that technical and/or editorial changes that may result from this review have been addressed;
  • matters related to acknowledgements and official languages have been appropriately managed and administered;
  • the possibility of publishing in Open Access journals for scientific and technical papers has been explored;
  • they have exercised due diligence in ensuring that all issues related to intellectual property and related matters have been resolved;
  • they understand relevant terms and conditions for publication, including copyright and level of authority required for approvals.

Moreover, researchers and scientists should seek credible and reputable outlets for academic publication that conform to established practices and standards of academic publishing, including particularly rigorous peer review practices.

7.5.7. In cases where CIRNAC scientists or researchers have provided data or information to be used in a government document (e.g. a report, briefing note, etc.), management and those responsible for preparing the documents should consult with the scientist or researcher concerned to ensure that the data/information is used and interpreted appropriately.

7.6. Contributions to the scientific community

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes that the participation of CIRNAC researchers and scientists in the global scholarly community depends upon domestic and international collaboration and partnerships. Such collaborations and partnerships provide important opportunities for CIRNAC researchers and scientists to leverage their expertise, knowledge and infrastructure in developing research and scientific knowledge to the benefit of Canadians.

To this end, CIRNAC will:

7.6.1. Encourage and facilitate domestic and international research or scientific collaborations and partnerships between CIRNAC researchers and scientists and the external research and development communities in universities and colleges; provincial, territorial or Indigenous governments; Indigenous representational organizations; industry and business; and civil society.

7.6.2. Make a reasonable effort to appropriately resource participation in relevant scientific and professional societies, working committees, conferences, workshops and symposia identified by researchers, scientists and management.

7.6.3. Make a reasonable effort to ensure appropriate engagement or participation of researchers and scientists in international science and research-based fora of which Canada is a formal member.

Furthermore:

7.6.4. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada encourages activities related to collaboration with the extramural research and development communities, including the appointment of CIRNAC researchers and scientists to adjunct professorships.

7.7. Role of employees in science advice and evidence-informed decision making

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes that researchers and scientists have important roles to play in providing advice that informs federal programs, policy, regulations and law. Indigenous Knowledge, research and scientific findings are an important source of evidence that must be appropriately considered in evidence-informed decision making.

Researchers and scientists have an important role to play in providing advice not only on the research required to resolve today's issues, but also to identify emerging scientific and technical issues, research directions and opportunities. Moreover, the department recognizes the importance that research and related undertakings that use Indigenous Knowledge be reflective of Indigenous-set priorities, and not be taken out of the context for which it was provided.

To this end and in consultation with PIPSC representatives, CIRNAC will develop and deploy transparent and systematic mechanisms and procedures for:

7.7.1. Gathering, evaluating and incorporating scientific advice into the CIRNAC policy and regulatory decision-making process.

7.7.2. Engaging employees in the design, development, and evaluation of robust and resilient research programs that will be able to meet the research needs of the future.

7.7.3. Identifying and prioritizing areas of federal authority for which the current federal science or research capacity is inadequate or where federal investment in research and development is likely to provide substantial benefits to Canadians.

In addition, CIRNAC will:

7.7.4. Support the development of training and professional development opportunities devoted to the roles of science and research in developing evidence to support evidence-informed decision-making. Such opportunities may be made available to all employees who engage in, supervise, manage, support, review, use or report on research and scientific activities; analyze, curate or communicate data or information generated by these activities; and/or seek to use information derived from these activities in decision-making.

7.8. Responsible conduct of research

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is committed to ensuring that CIRNAC research and science conforms to the highest standards of responsible research conduct and shall strive to follow the relevant and applicable research practices honestly, accountably, openly and fairly in the development and dissemination of research and scientific knowledge.

7.8.1. Scientific integrity involves the application of concepts of transparency, openness, high quality work, avoidance of conflict of interest and ensuring high standards of impartiality and research ethics. Employees involved in science or research shall conform to the standards of responsible research. Such standards include, but are not limited to ensuring that:

  1. all research and scientific activities (including study design and implementation; recording, analyzing, and interpreting data; and in reporting and publishing data and findings) are conducted with the highest scientific rigour;
  2. complete and accurate records of data, methodologies and findings, including graphs and images are maintained in a manner consistent with best practices. This curation is essential to the verification and/or or replication of the work by others;
  3. accessibility, ownership, and storage of Indigenous Knowledge lies with the providers of that information, to the extent possible, in order to respect the confidentiality and sovereignty of Indigenous Knowledge;
  4. protocols and policies set by Indigenous governments, organizations, and communities regarding Indigenous Knowledge, will be followed to ensure collaborative, productive working relationships;
  5. referencing and, where applicable, obtaining permission for use of all published and unpublished work, including data, Indigenous Knowledge, source material, methodologies, findings, and images as appropriate;
  6. authorship consent is obtained, and that all those and only those who have made a substantial (conceptual and/or material) contribution to, and who accept responsibility for, the contents of the publication or document;
  7. individuals, organizations or institutions who have sponsored and/or funded the research are appropriately described and acknowledged;
  8. all, and only those individuals, who have participated in the research are appropriately recognized and acknowledged;
  9. the contribution of those and only those who have contributed to research, including funders and sponsors, is appropriately described and acknowledged;
  10. any real, perceived or potential conflict of interest is reported and appropriately managed;
  11. information included in grant or award applications is accurate and complete, including information on partners, collaborators, co-applicants, and that their permission to be listed has been obtained;
  12. research involving humans or animals conforms with the Tri-council principles and procedures as specified in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, with particular reference to Chapter 9 for matters relating to research involving Indigenous peoples and the Canadian Council on Animal Care Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals respectively.

7.8.2. Employees involved in science or research shall avoid breaches of responsible research conduct. Such breaches include, but are not limited to:

  1. Fabrication: Making up data, source material, methodologies or findings, including graphs and images;
  2. Falsification: Manipulating, changing, or omitting data, source material, methodologies or findings, including graphs and images, without acknowledgement and which results in inaccurate findings or conclusions;
  3. Destruction of research records: The destruction of one's own or another's research data or records to specifically avoid the detection of wrongdoing or in contravention of this or any other applicable policies and/or laws, regulations and professional or disciplinary standards;
  4. Plagiarism: Presenting and using another's published or unpublished work, including theories, concepts, data, source material, methodologies or findings, including graphs and images, as one's own, without appropriate referencing and without permission where required;
  5. Redundant publication or self-plagiarism: The re-publication of one's own previously published work or part thereof, including data, in any language, without adequate acknowledgment of the source, or adequate justification;
  6. Invalid authorship or contributions: Inaccurate attribution of authorship, including attribution of authorship to persons other than those who have made a substantial contribution to, and who accept responsibility for, the contents of a publication or document. Invalid authorship also includes the failure to acknowledge those who have made substantial contributions to the work in question;
  7. Mismanagement of conflict of interest: Failure to appropriately identify and address any real, potential or apparent conflict of interest;
  8. Inaccurate grant and awards application: Providing incomplete, inaccurate or false information in a grant or award application or related document, such as a letter of support or a progress report;
  9. Inaccurate statement of collaborations: Listing of co-applicants, collaborators or partners without their agreement.

7.9. Monitoring and performance evaluation

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada should review this and associated policies, guidelines or tools to ensure they remain relevant and seek employee and applicable bargaining agent input and feedback on the implementation of this policy and provide performance indicators as practical.

7.9.1. In consultation with the Office of the Chief Science Advisor (OCSA) and PIPSC representatives, CIRNAC will design, develop and implement a monitoring plan for this policy that will provide information on (a) the extent to which the policy has achieved its objectives (that is, policy performance); and (b) future policy and associated instrument (e.g. guidelines, directives, etc.) adjustments, modifications or changes likely to improve policy performance. Any such plan must have regard for other government initiatives or circumstances that may affect estimated performance independent of, or in concert with, the policy.

7.9.2. Any plan developed under article 7.9.1 must explicitly identify (a) the performance indicators that will be monitored; (b) how the data on these indicators will be collected, annotated and curated; (c) how performance baselines will be characterized; and (d) how changes from baseline will be estimated and evaluated.

7.9.3. A copy of all data and information collected as part of the monitoring plan will be forwarded annually to the Office of the Chief Science Advisor (OCSA), the appropriate National Union-Management Consultation Committee and the Governance Committee for Implementation of Government-Wide Scientific Integrity Policy comprised of the Secretary of the Treasury Board, the Chief Science Advisor and the President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.

8. Responsibilities

Deputy Head

The Deputy Head and his/her delegates are responsible for fostering an environment that encourages excellence and integrity in research, science and related activities, and for promoting a culture of open communication where employees may disclose, in good faith, information concerning breaches of scientific integrity. The Deputy Head is also responsible for:

  • ensuring that this policy is communicated to all employees;
  • monitoring compliance with this policy within Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and taking corrective action as needed;
  • performance evaluation of this policy; and,
  • providing an annual confirmation of the compliance and reporting with this policy, as requested by the Governance Committee for Implementation of Government-Wide Scientific Integrity policy.

Directors, managers and supervisors

Directors, managers and supervisors are responsible for implementation of this policy. Such responsibilities include:

  • informing employees about this policy and ensuring that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities and obligations under the policy;
  • ensuring compliance with this policy, providing to employees information about the processes available to them if they wish to make an allegation under this policy, and addressing all allegations of breach of scientific integrity that are brought to their attention or of which they are aware; and,
  • ensuring that employees are aware of professional development and training opportunities that may be available in support of this policy.

Specific responsibilities will be articulated in procedures and guidelines that will be developed to support this policy.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada employees who conduct research, science or related activities

All CIRNAC employees involved in the design, conduct, management, review, use or communication of research, science or related activities, and all persons conducting research, science or related activities under the auspices of CIRNAC will have primary responsibility for:

  • ensuring their behaviour and conduct conforms to the principles of scientific integrity;
  • ensuring that they design, conduct, manage, review, use or communicate research or science in a manner fully consistent with this policy;
  • reporting a suspected breach of scientific integrity as soon as possible; and,
  • participating in good faith in any inquiry or investigation conducted pursuant to this policy.

9. Definitions

Alteration (of a scientific or research work): any change in the form or content of a research or scientific work that may affect the interpretation of the work and/or its implications.

Breach (of scientific integrity): failure to abide by any of the provisions described in s. 6 or s. 7 of this policy.

Classified or sensitive research or scientific information: research or scientific information which would normally be considered to be exempt from disclosure under the Access to Information Act.

Clear and compelling reasons (for withholding publication of scientific or research information): legitimate reasons include, but are not limited to: (a) disclosure of such information is exempt under the Access to Information Act or the Security of Information Act; (b) technical or technological constraints limit or prevent making the information available.

Client: any person, institution or organization, whether internal or external to government, who is the recipient and/or user of research or scientific data, products, services or information, and who is involved with establishing the question or topic of the research or scientific work in question.

Collaborator: any person, organization or institution with whom/which a CIRNAC employee undertakes the design, conduct, management, review or communication of research, science, or related activities and who/which does not receive direct or indirect remuneration.

Communication (of science): science communication involves any exchange of scientific or research information (including research results and interpretations thereof, methods, protocols, data, and products) in any form, between or among researchers or scientists (science and research producers) and the consumers or users of this information, including the public, other scientists or researchers, other government employees, and clients.

Compelling evidence: evidence of sufficient strength to convince the decision-maker that it is likely that the claim for which the evidence is adduced is true.

Consent: right that allows Indigenous peoples to give or withhold permission for a project that may affect them or their territories. Once consent is provided, it may be withdrawn at any stage. Furthermore, this enables negotiation of the conditions under which a project might be designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated (adapted from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2019).

Deputy Head: as defined in section 11(1) of the Financial Administration Act.

Employee: this is in most cases to be interpreted broadly to cover all employees within a department or agency, all of whom have a greater or lesser role to play in the scientific integrity procedures described in this policy.

Indigenous Knowledge: although Indigenous Knowledge can be variably defined, within this policy, the definition provided in a report by the Native Women's Association of Canada can be used, where Indigenous Knowledge is described as "more than knowledge about a system; it is recognition of one's place within the system, and the teachings of a lifestyle that respects that interdependence." Indigenous Knowledge is: rooted in traditions, culture and history and is closely linked to the environment; holistic in nature; cumulative and dynamic; integral to and inseparable from the livelihoods of Indigenous peoples.

Interference: any action that alters or suppresses the work or the impartiality of a scientist or researcher, as understood within the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, including the expectation that they provide decision makers with all the information, analysis and advice they need, while striving to be open, candid and impartial. Interference also includes alteration or inappropriate suppression of research methodology and results or dissuasion of reporting of results by any party, including clients.

Related activity: any activity that (a) supports science or research (e.g. laboratory operations and management; infrastructure (including information and communication infrastructure); (b) uses research or scientific information as an input (e.g. solicitation or preparation of science advice; evaluation of research or scientific evidence); (c) involves the curation, communication or archiving of scientific or research data or information.

Research: any undertaking intended to extend knowledge through a disciplined inquiry or systematic investigation. All references to research throughout this policy could include, as applicable and appropriate, the collection and/or use of Indigenous Knowledge.

Researcher: an employee who is primarily involved in the application of comprehensive scientific and professional knowledge to the planning, conduct, evaluation and management of fundamental or applied research, knowledge enhancement, technology development and innovation relevant to defense science, historical research and archival science, mathematics and the natural sciences. (N.B. These definitions follow the RE occupational group definition for the public service.)

Science: the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural world through application of 1 or more elements of the scientific method. In the context of the current policy, it is understood to include both fundamental and applied natural, physical, biomedical and social science, as well as engineering and mathematics.

Scientific integrity: the condition resulting from adherence to concepts of transparency, openness, high quality work, avoidance of conflict of interest and ensuring high standards of impartiality and research ethics.

Scientist: an employee who is primarily involved in the application of comprehensive scientific and professional knowledge to 1 of the applied science programs involving actuarial science, agriculture, biology, chemistry, forestry, meteorology or physical sciences, which include physics, planetary and earth sciences, scientific regulation and patents. (N.B. These definitions follow the SP occupational group definition for the public service.)

Suppression (of a scientific or research work): the deliberate withholding of a scientific or research work, or any portion thereof, from publication or dissemination, in the absence of clear and compelling reasons for doing so.

Timely manner: within a time frame that is consistent with usual review and approval processes, and consistent with logistical and resource constraints. The CIRNAC or external collaborators may impose reasonable embargo periods to respect the right of a principal investigator to first publication.

10. Enquiries

For further information on this policy, contact the CIRNAC SIP Secretariat at aadnc.secretariatpis-sipsecretariat.aandc@canada.ca

11. Resources

Date modified: