Research Policy Handbook


Principles Concerning Research

Policy Authority

Senate of the Academic Council

Now in Policy Details

Presents broad principles to guide the research enterprise and assure the integrity of scholarly inquiry at Stanford University. checking

1. Introduction

The transmission of knowledge and conduct of scholarly inquiry are central and complementary functions of the University. They can be carried out effectively only if scholars are guaranteed certain freedoms and accept corresponding responsibilities.

2. Overview

The Senate of the Academic Council of Stanford University hereby affirms the following principles concerning research:

  • Individual scholars should be free to select the subject matter of their research, to seek support from any source for their work, and to form their own findings and conclusions. These findings and conclusions should be available for scrutiny and criticism as required by the University's Policy on Openness in Research.
  • Research techniques should not violate established professional ethics pertaining to the health, safety, privacy, and other personal rights of human beings or to the infliction of injury or pain on animals.
  • The University should foster an environment conducive to research. Where, because of limited resources, the University cannot support all research demands, it should allocate space, facilities, funds, and other resources for research programs based on the scholarly and educational merits of the proposed research, and not on speculations concerning the political or moral impropriety of the uses which might be made of its results.

The above principles circumscribe the University's role with respect to University-connected research. They in no way diminish, and indeed they reinforce, the individual researcher's personal responsibility to assure that the conduct of research, the sources of funding for that research, and its perceived applications are consistent with the individual researcher's judgment and conscience, and with established professional ethics.