Published: 20 June 2021 Updated: 26 July 2021

It is vital that we ensure the quality of research and scientific information used to make decisions that impact our marine sectors and marine ecosystems.

Ministers, decision-makers, stakeholders and the public need to have confidence and trust in this research, as it is used to inform and underpin fisheries management decisions and policies which have real-world impacts on the lives and livelihoods of Australia’s fishers and aquaculture operators.

The FRDC and key research providers came together to develop the Research and Science Information Guidelines for Australian Fisheries to define what constitutes best-practice, high-quality and reliable scientific information.

Please adhere to the guidelines when delivering your research project.

Key principles for scientific information quality

To ensure the reliability and objectivity of research and the resulting scientific information. the guidelines are based on the following principles:

Relevance – research and scientific information must be relevant and contribute directly to answering key questions and addressing management objectives.

Reliability – information must be accurate and reproducible.

Objectivity – information must be impartial and free of personal bias.

Integrity – information must be protected from inappropriate alteration, selective interpretation or presentation. Scientific information should remain complete throughout the science-to-decision process.

Peer review – the primary, internationally-accepted mechanism for evaluating the quality of research and scientific information is peer review. The work must be evaluated by one or more experts in the appropriate field.

Roles and responsibilities

Meeting the requirements of these guidelines will primarily be the responsibility of research purchasers (including the FRDC) and research providers.

Responsibilities: Research purchasers

  • Research proposal evaluation
  • Peer review processes
  • Technical guidance
  • Guideline compliance
  • Database management and data storage
  • Quality assurance

Responsibilities: Research providers

  • Qualifications and capabilities
  • Project management and quality management
  • Data management and provision
  • Certification of laboratories and equipment
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis and synthesis
  • Experimental studies
  • Technical protocols
  • Internal and external peer review
  • Research reports