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Research Integrity at PML: Annual Statement 2021

This statement details the actions taken at PML to maintain research integrity during 2021. You can read more about PML's Research Integrity here.

Policies and guidelines relating to research integrity used at PML

The following external policies were published or revised in 2021 and have been considered in relation to internal policies and processes at PML: 

The following internal PML policies, that relate to research integrity, have been revised or developed this year: 

  • PML Policy for Handling Allegations of Research Misconduct Issue 4 (June 2021) 

  • PML Safeguarding Policy (April 2021) 

  • PML Code of practice for the supervision of staff and students (October 2021)

Training and Internal Communication

PML staff and management have engaged in the following ‘Research Integrity’ relevant training and communication activities: 

  • Ten researchers from the PML Marine Ecology and Biodiversity science area attended an ‘Engaging the public on animal research’ webinar run by Understanding Animal Research ( This webinar has been commissioned by NERC and has been designed to specifically address the use of animals in NERC focused science. 

  • 7 staff and 9 student ‘New Starter’ inductions have been conducted in 2021. These new staff and students all received information specific to research integrity as part of this induction process.

Formal ‘Research Ethics’ Applications

The following request for formal ethical approval of research activities were submitted and approved in 2021: 

  • Blue Carbon Finance in Malaysia – December 2021 

  • Impacts of Artificial Light At Night (ALAN) On The Marine-Coastal Environment of Chile – application submitted in 2021 but approved in January 2022 

  • Nexus Action for Mangroves in Selangor, Malaysia: Protection through value creation for community-public-private partnerships (NexAMS) – September 2021


No breaches of GDPR regulations were identified in 2021.
A pilot GDPR internal audit of PML’s Science Support Office took place in August 2021.

Quality Assurance

To ensure research quality in 2021 we have: 

  • Maintained our ISO9001:2015 (Quality) and ISO45001:2018 (Health & Safety) Certifications. 

  • We are also progressing towards having an Environmental Management System compliant with and certified to ISO14001:2015. Good progress was made in 2021 and Certification is planned for the end of 2022. 

  • The PML Peer Review College undertook an internal peer review of all potential NERC discovery grant proposals prior to submission. 

  • PML took part in some proficiency tests in 2021, as follows: 

             Quasimeme Nutrients proficiency testing
             Quasimeme Ocean Acidification proficiency testing 

  • Modelling and Remote Sensing activities are validated by the continuing acquisition of time series data accrued from ongoing National Capability projects such as the Western Channel Observatory (WCO) and the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT), along with any other Research Cruises and projects undertaken in the field.

External Partners

  • No issues with external partners were reported in 2021.

  • There were no due diligence activities that were required for external partners in 2021.

Monitoring and Reporting Research Misconduct

  • In 2021 there were no formal reports of research misconduct committed by a PML member of staff. 

  • Following a formal report of research misconduct the PML policy first requires an informal investigation to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a formal investigation.  In 2021, no informal investigations were undertaken. 

  • There were no instances where a formal investigation of research misconduct was conducted. 

  • In 2021, there were no formal allegations of potential research misconduct committed by external partners against PML members of staff.