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Research integrity

A guide outlining Library support available to Researchers and Higher Degree by Research students on aspects of research integrity.

Research integrity and social media

While academic integrity is more commonly attributed to publishing research via traditional means, the same rigour and responsibilities also apply when communicating about and sharing research via social media.

Promoting your research on social media is a powerful opportunity for researchers to improve visibility and engage with the public but it can come with risks.

A report, ‘Feeling Better Connected’: Academics’ Use of Social Media, written in 2014 by Dr. Deborah Lupton, Centenary Research Professor at the University of Canberra, some researchers expressed concerns around:

  • issues of privacy and the blurring of boundaries between personal and professional use
  • misappropriation of authorship credit
  • publishing data without authorisation
  • jeopardising their career through careless use of social media
  • concerns around the reception and quality of their posted content
  • ethical considerations in using social media to engage research participants
  • copyright concerns
  • becoming a target of attack
  • possible plagiarism of their ideas
  • the commercialisation of content

An ABC News article addresses the issues of Privacy, Consent and Good Manners describing the impact on an individual when consent was not obtained for them to be filmed and the resulting footage used as a Tik Tok entry. While this may not be research related activity, it highlights the importance of obtaining consent and of the use of basic courtesy when working with your subjects. Obtaining consent, ensuring subjects are not misrepresented, and making efforts to tell their story while not exploiting them or risking their privacy, is all about practising good research integrity.


Lupton, D. (2014) ‘Feeling better connected’: Academics’ use of social media. Canberra: News & Media Research Centre, University of Canberra.

What does your digital footprint look like?

Your digital footprint is data that shows a record of your online interactions and includes:

  • websites you have visited
  • posts you have left on social media
  • posts that others have said about you, or to you, on social media

What does your digital footprint look like? Is there regrettable content? Web content is indexed and may be accessible, even if you have deleted the content. Some tips to follow include:

  • Only associate yourself with things that you won’t feel embarrassed about in the future
  • Delete posts or photos that are publicly available that no longer represent you
  • Change your privacy settings
  • Unfollow or unsubscribe from groups or posts that you no longer want to be associated with
  • Untag yourself from others’ posts or ask them to remove the content