Misconduct In Science Research
hear_no_evil.JPGIMPORTANT INTRODUCTORY NOTE: The Institute’s policy on misconduct in research is currently under major revision and a new policy is anticipated in mid-Fall 2008. The Institute’s policy will be entitled “Integrity in Research.”
Misconduct in Research
Congressional and public pressure led to initial regulations on misconduct in research (misconduct in science) promulgated by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the late 1980’s. On December 6, 2000, the federal Office of Science and Technology Policy published a government-wide definition of research misconduct as follows, which all agencies were directed to adopt: “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.”
Since there is no direct federal statutory requirement governing misconduct in research, each agency has promulgated its own policy for its awards. Note that there are some differences in requirements and processes among the agency policies, therefore questions about research misconduct have to be adjudicated within the context of the specific policy that is applicable.
That being said, the agency policies generally contain the following requirements for educational institutions:
- development of policies and procedures to ensure an impartial process for receipt and disposition of allegations of scientific misconduct;
- notification of the funding agency;
- protection of the integrity of the research, research subjects, and the public;
- observation of legal requirements and responsibilities;
- protection of the person(s) bringing the allegation; and,
- maintenance of records.