1. Home
  2. A to Z Index
  3. Research Integrity Policy and Guidelines on Misconduct
  1. Home
  2. Academic Affairs and Faculty
  3. Research Integrity Policy and Guidelines on Misconduct

Research Integrity Policy and Guidelines on Misconduct

Contents

Policy Author:

SVPAA/Provost

Responsible Office-Department:

SVPAA/Provost

Effective Date of Policy:

Fall 2021

Policy Currently Under Review

I. Introduction

The following sets forth Daemen University’s expectations with regard to integrity in research of all kinds. This Policy describes the responsibilities of research personnel, administrators, and others in the academic community, and outlines the procedures for dealing with instances of alleged misconduct in research.

As a recipient of extramural funding, Daemen University must ensure that its practices and procedures are consistent with the requirements of granting agencies. Daemen University expects that its employees, students and contractors will conform to the highest standards of professional conduct in academic and scientific research.

II. Statement on Integrity in Research

It is the policy of Daemen University to require adherence to the highest ethical standards in the research conducted by its faculty, students, staff and contractors. The University will inquire into and, if necessary, investigate and resolve promptly and fairly all instances of alleged misconduct and to comply in a timely manner with agency requirements for reporting on cases of possible misconduct when sponsored project funds are involved.

Since a charge of research misconduct, even if unjustified, may damage an individual’s career, any allegation of research misconduct must be handled in an expeditious and confidential manner. It is of paramount importance that full attention be given to the rights of all individuals involved.

III. Scope of Application.

This policy applies to all personnel affiliated with Daemen University, to include, but not limited to, faculty (including temporary or adjunct members) who conduct research using the University facilities and resources, students, trainees, and other research personnel. Cases of research misconduct involving students are subject to the normal disciplinary rules governing students, but will be reviewed, as appropriate, under this policy.

The procedure and policies apply with equal force to unfunded research, research funded by Daemen University, and research funded by an extramural funding agency or source. This policy applies to the conduct of research (and related activities), presentation or publication of research results, the process of applying for research funds, and the expenditure or fiscal reporting of the use of research funds. For acts of alleged research misconduct, this policy shall be followed in lieu of sections V. D and XII of the Daemen University Faculty Handbook.

IV. Definitions

Allegation means a disclosure of possible research misconduct through any means of communication. The disclosure may be by written or oral statement or other communication to an institutional official.

Complainant means a person who in good faith makes an allegation of research misconduct Deciding Official (DO) means the institutional official who makes final determinations on allegations of research misconduct and any institutional administrative actions. At Daemen University the DO is the President.

Evidence means any document, tangible item, or testimony offered or obtained during a research misconduct proceeding that tends to prove or disprove the existence of an alleged fact Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.

Falsification is manipulating research, equipment or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not correctly represented in the research record.

Frivolous claim is 1) a claim clearly made in bad faith and/or 2) a claim, even if found to be true, would not constitute research misconduct under this policy.

Good faith as applied to a complainant or witness, means having a belief in the truth of one’s allegation or testimony that a reasonable person in the complainant’s or witness’s position could have based on the information known to the complainant or witness at the time. An allegation or cooperation with a research misconduct proceeding is not in good faith if it is made with knowing or reckless disregard for information that would negate the allegation or testimony. A committee member does not act in good faith if his/her acts or omissions on the committee are dishonest or influenced by personal, professional, or financial conflicts of interest with those involved in the research misconduct proceeding.

Inquiry means preliminary information-gathering and preliminary fact-finding

Institutional member means a person who is employed by, is an agent of, or is affiliated by contract or agreement with Daemen University. Institutional members may include, but are not limited to, officials, tenured and untenured faculty, teaching and support staff, researchers, research coordinators, clinical technicians, students, volunteers, agents, and contractors, subcontractors, and sub-awardees, and their employees.

Investigation means the formal development of a factual record and the examination of that record leading to a decision not to make a finding of research misconduct or to a recommendation for a finding of research misconduct which may include a recommendation for other appropriate actions, including administrative actions.

Preponderance of the evidence means proof by information that, compared with that opposing it,
leads to the conclusion that the fact at issue is more probably true than not.

Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, process, results or words without giving appropriate credit.

Records of research misconduct proceedings means: (1) the research records and evidence secured for the research misconduct proceeding pursuant to this policy, except to the extent the

Research Integrity Officer determines and documents that those records are not relevant to the proceeding or that the records duplicate other records that have been retained; (2) the documentation of the determination of irrelevant or duplicate records; (3) the inquiry report and final documents (not drafts) produced in the course of preparing that report, including the documentation of any decision not to investigate, (4) the investigation report and all records (other than drafts of the report) in support of the report, including the recordings or transcripts of each interview conducted; and (5) the complete record of any appeal within the institution from the finding of research misconduct.

Research includes all basic, applied and demonstration research in all fields.

Research Integrity Officer (RIO) means the institutional official responsible for: (1) assessing allegations of research misconduct to determine if they fall within the definition of research misconduct, and warrant an inquiry on the basis that the allegation is sufficiently credible and specific so that potential evidence of research misconduct may be identified; and (2) overseeing inquiries and investigations; and (3) the other responsibilities described in this policy. The RIO is responsible for ensuring compliance with all notification requirements of funding or sponsoring agencies. At Daemen University the RIO is the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).

Research misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

Research misconduct proceeding means any actions related to alleged research misconduct, including but not limited to, allegation assessments, inquiries, and investigations and administrative appeals related thereto.

Research Record means the record of data or results that embody the facts resulting from scientific inquiry, including but not limited to, research proposals, laboratory records, both physical and electronic, progress reports, abstracts, theses, oral presentations, internal reports, journal articles, and any documents and materials provided to an institutional official by a respondent in the course of the research misconduct proceeding

Respondent means the person against whom an allegation of research misconduct is directed or who is the subject of a research misconduct proceeding Retaliation means an adverse action taken against a complainant, witness, or committee member by Daemen University or one of its institutional members in response to (1) a good faith allegation of research misconduct; or (2) good faith cooperation with a research misconduct proceeding.

V. Requirements for Finding of Research Misconduct

A finding of Research Misconduct requires that:

  1. There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community;
  2. The misconduct be committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly; and
  3. The allegation be proved by a preponderance of the evidence.

VI. General Policies and Principles

A. Responsibility to Report Misconduct

An institutional member must report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to the RIO. If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of research misconduct, he or she may meet with or contact the RIO to discuss the suspected research misconduct informally, which may include discussing it anonymously and/or hypothetically. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of research misconduct, the RIO will refer the individual or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving the problem.

An institutional member may have confidential discussions and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the RIO at any time.

B. Cooperation with Research Misconduct Proceedings

Institutional members will cooperate with the RIO and other College officials in the review of allegations and the conduct of inquiries and investigations. Institutional members, including respondents, have an obligation to provide evidence relevant to research misconduct allegations to the RIO or other College officials.

C. Confidentiality

The RIO shall: (1) limit disclosure of the identity of respondents and complainants to those who need to know in order to carry out a thorough, competent, objective and fair research misconduct proceeding; and (2) except as otherwise prescribed by law, limit the disclosure of any records or evidence from which research subjects might be identified to those who need to know in order to carry out a research misconduct proceeding. The RIO will require institutional members involved in research misconduct proceedings to execute a written confidentiality agreement or other mechanism to ensure against any further disclosure of identifying information.

D. Conflict of Interest

Prior to participation in any inquiry or investigation committee under this policy, an institutional member must disclose to the RIO the existence of (a) a conflict of interest, or (b) any facts which might cause him or her to be perceived to be biased concerning the facts of the allegation. No person who has a bias or conflict of interest or the appearance of a bias or a conflict of interest shall serve as a member of any committee formed under the policy. The RIO will determine whether a conflict of interest exists and will be responsible for determining how to deal with any such conflicts within the context of this policy.

E. Protecting complainants, witnesses, and committee members

Institutional members may not retaliate in any way against complainants, witnesses, or committee members. Any person who observes or suspects retaliation against complainants, witnesses or committee members should immediately report such conduct to the RIO, who shall review the matter and, as necessary, make all reasonable and practical efforts to counter any potential or actual retaliation and protect and restore the position and reputation of the person against whom the retaliation is directed.

F. Protecting the Respondent

As requested and as appropriate, the RIO and other College officials shall make all reasonable and practical efforts to protect or restore the reputation of persons alleged to have engaged in research misconduct, but against whom no finding of research misconduct is made.

During the research misconduct proceeding, the RIO is responsible for ensuring that respondents receive all the notices and opportunities provided for in the policies and procedures of the institution. Respondents may consult with legal counsel or a non-lawyer personal adviser (who is not a principal or witness in the case) to seek advice and may bring the counsel or personal adviser to interviews or meetings on the case.

G. Interim Administrative Actions and Notifying Extramural Funding Sources of Special Circumstances

Throughout the research misconduct proceeding, the RIO will review the situation to determine if there is any threat of harm to public health, research funds and equipment, or the integrity of the research process. In the event of such a threat, the RIO will, in consultation with other institutional officials, take appropriate interim action to protect against any such threat. Interim action might include additional monitoring of the research process and the handling of research funds and equipment, reassignment of personnel or of the responsibility for the handling of research funds and equipment, additional review of research data and results or delaying publication. The RIO shall, at any time during a research misconduct proceeding, notify extramural funding sources immediately if he/she has reason to believe that any of the following conditions exist:

  • Health or safety of the public is at risk, including an immediate need to protect human or animal subjects;
  • Extramural resources or interests are threatened;
  • Research activities should be suspended;
  • There is a reasonable indication of possible violations of civil or criminal law;
  • Action is required to protect the interests of those involved in the research misconduct proceeding;
  • The research misconduct proceeding may be made public prematurely and action may be necessary to safeguard evidence and protect the rights of those involved; or

VII. Conducting the Assessment and Inquiry

A. Assessment of Allegations

Upon receiving an allegation of research misconduct, the RIO will immediately assess the allegation to determine whether it is sufficiently credible and specific so that potential evidence of research misconduct may be identified, and whether the allegation falls within the definition of research misconduct in this policy. An inquiry must be conducted if these criteria are met.

The assessment period should be concluded within seven (7) days. In conducting the assessment, the RIO need not interview the complainant, respondent, or other witnesses, or gather data beyond any that may have been submitted with the allegation, except as necessary to determine whether the allegation is sufficiently credible and specific so that potential evidence of research misconduct may be identified.

B. Initiation and Purpose of the Inquiry

If the RIO determines that the criteria for an inquiry are met, he or she will immediately initiate the inquiry process. The purpose of the inquiry is to conduct an initial review of the available evidence to determine whether to conduct an investigation. An inquiry does not require a full review of all the evidence related to the allegation.

C. Notice to Respondent; Sequestration of Research Records

At the time of or before beginning an inquiry, the RIO must make a good faith effort to notify the respondent in writing. If the inquiry subsequently identifies additional respondents, they must be notified in writing. On or before the date on which the respondent is notified, or the inquiry begins, whichever is earlier, the RIO must take all reasonable and practical steps to obtain custody of all the research records and evidence needed to conduct the research misconduct proceeding, inventory the records and evidence and sequester them in a secure manner, except that where the research records or evidence encompass scientific instruments shared by a number of users, custody may be limited to copies of the data or evidence on such instruments, so long as those copies are substantially equivalent to the evidentiary value of the instruments. The RIO may consult with extramural funding sources for advice and assistance in this regard.

D. Appointment of the Inquiry Committee

The RIO, after consultation with other institutional officials as appropriate, will appoint an inquiry committee and committee chair within 10 days of the decision to conduct an inquiry or as soon thereafter as practical. The inquiry committee must consist of individuals who do not have unresolved personal, professional, or financial conflicts of interest with those involved with the inquiry and should include individuals with the appropriate scientific expertise to evaluate the evidence and issues related to the allegation, interview the principals and key witnesses, and conduct the inquiry.

E. Charge to the Committee and First Meeting

The RIO will prepare a charge for the inquiry committee that:

  • Sets forth the time for completion of the inquiry;
  • Describes the allegations and any related issues identified during the allegation assessment;
  • States that the purpose of the inquiry is to conduct an initial review of the evidence, including interviewing the respondent, complainant and key witnesses, to determine whether an investigation is warranted, not to determine whether research misconduct definitely occurred or who was responsible;
  • States that an investigation is warranted if the committee determines: (1) there is a reasonable basis for concluding that the allegation falls within the definition of research misconduct, and the allegation may have substance, based on the committee’s review during the inquiry
  • Informs the inquiry committee that they are responsible for preparing or directing the preparation of a written report of the inquiry that meets the requirements of this policy

At the committee’s first meeting, the RIO will review the charge with the committee, discuss the allegations, any related issues, and the appropriate procedures for conducting the inquiry, assist the committee with organizing plans for the inquiry, and answer any questions raised by the committee. The RIO will be present or available throughout the inquiry to advise the committee as needed.

F. Inquiry Process

The inquiry committee will normally interview the complainant, the respondent, and key witnesses as well as examine relevant research records and materials. Then the inquiry committee will evaluate the evidence, including the testimony obtained during the inquiry. After consultation with the RIO, the committee members will decide whether an investigation is warranted based on the criteria in this policy. The scope of the inquiry is not required to and does not normally include deciding whether misconduct definitely occurred, determining definitely who committed the research misconduct or conducting exhaustive interviews and analyses. However, if a legally sufficient admission of research misconduct is made by the respondent, misconduct may be determined at the inquiry stage if all relevant issues are resolved.

G. Time for Completion

The inquiry, including preparation of the final inquiry report and the decision of the DO on whether an investigation is warranted, should be completed within 60 calendar days of initiation of the inquiry, unless the RIO determines that circumstances clearly warrant a longer period. If the RIO approves an extension, the inquiry record must include documentation of the reasons for exceeding the 60-day period. The respondent will be notified of any extension..

VIII. The Inquiry Report

A. Elements of the Inquiry Report

A written inquiry report must be prepared that includes the following information: (1) the name and position of the respondent(s); (2) a description of the allegations of research misconduct; (3) extramural support, including, for example, grant numbers, grant applications, contracts and publications; (4) the basis for recommending or not recommending that the allegations warrant an investigation; (5) any comments on the draft report by the respondent or complainant; (6) the names and titles of the committee members who conducted the inquiry and any experts who were consulted; (7) a summary of the inquiry process used; (8) a list of the research records reviewed; (9) summaries of any interviews; and (10) whether any other actions should be taken if an investigation is not recommended.

College counsel should review the report for compliance with any regulatory authority and this policy. Modifications should be made as appropriate in consultation with the RIO and the inquiry committee.

B. Notification to the Respondent and Claimant and Opportunity to Comment

The RIO must notify the respondent whether the inquiry found an investigation to be warranted, include a copy of the draft inquiry report for comment within 10 days, and include a copy of the College’s policy on research misconduct. The RIO will also notify the complainant whether the inquiry found an investigation to be warranted and provide relevant portions of the inquiry report to the complainant for comment within 10 days. A confidentiality agreement will be a condition for access to the report.

Any comments that are submitted will be attached to the final inquiry report. Based on the comments, the inquiry committee may revise the draft report as appropriate and prepare it in final form. The committee will deliver the final report to the RIO.

C. Decision by Deciding Official

The RIO will transmit the final inquiry report and the RIO’s comments, if any, to the DO, who will render a decision in writing whether or not to conduct an investigation. The inquiry is completed when the DO makes this decision.

D. Notification to the Extramural Funding Source and Institutional Officials

As required by the extramural funding source, if any, the RIO will provide the DO’s written decision and a copy of the inquiry report. The RIO will also notify those institutional officials who need to know of the DO’s decision. Upon a proper request the RIO shall provide the following information to the extramural funding source: (1) the institutional policies and procedures under which the inquiry was conducted; (2) the research records and evidence reviewed, transcripts of recordings of any interviews, and copies of all relevant documents; and (3) the charges to be considered in the investigation.

E. Documentation of Decision Not to Investigate

If the DO decides that an investigation is not warranted the matter is concluded. In such case, the RIO shall maintain for 7 years after the termination of the inquiry sufficiently detailed documentation of the inquiry to permit a later assessment by extramural funding sources of the reasons why an investigation was not conducted. These documents must be provided to the extramural funding source upon request.

IX. Conducting the Investigation

A. Initiation and Purpose

The investigation should begin as soon as possible after the determination by the DO that an investigation is warranted unless a more expedited course is required by an extramural funding source. The investigation is to be completed within 120 days of the DO’s decision unless extended in accordance with subparagraph F below. The purpose of the investigation is to develop a factual record by exploring the allegations in detail and examining the evidence in depth, leading to recommended findings on whether research misconduct has been committed, by whom, and to what extent. The investigation will also determine whether there are additional instances of possible research misconduct that would justify broadening the scope beyond the initial allegations. This is particularly important where the alleged research misconduct involves clinical trials or potential harm to human subjects or the general public or if it affects research that forms the basis for public policy, clinical practice, or public health practice. The findings of the investigation will be set forth in an investigation report.

B. Notifying Extramural Funding Sources and Respondent; Sequestration of Research Records

On or before the date on which the investigation begins, the RIO will notify the respondent in writing of the allegations to be investigated; and if required, extramural funding sources. The RIO must also give the respondent written notice of any new allegations of research misconduct within a reasonable amount of time of deciding to pursue allegations not addressed during the inquiry or in the initial notice of the investigation.

The RIO will, prior to notifying respondent of the allegations, take all reasonable and practical steps to obtain custody of and sequester in a secure manner all research records and evidence needed to conduct the research misconduct proceeding that were not previously sequestered during the inquiry. The procedures to be followed for sequestration during the investigation are the same procedures that apply during the inquiry.

C. Appointment of the Investigation Committee

The RIO, after consultation with other institutional officials as appropriate, will appoint an investigation committee and the committee chair within 10 days of the decision by the DO to conduct an investigation or as soon thereafter as practical. The committee must have at least 3 and usually not more than 5 members.

In cases where the respondent is a Daemen University faculty member, the investigation committee will include all members of the Faculty Review Committee (FRC) who do not have an unresolved personal, professional, or financial conflict of interest with those involved with the investigation. The committee must include individuals with the appropriate scientific expertise to evaluate the evidence and issues related to the allegation. Individuals appointed to the investigation committee may also have served on the inquiry committee. When necessary to secure the necessary expertise or to avoid conflicts of interest, the RIO may add committee members from inside or outside the institution to the investigation committee; however, in cases involving faculty members, non- faculty appointments may not achieve a majority on the committee.

The RIO will notify the respondent of the proposed committee membership. The respondent may object to a proposed member based upon a personal, professional, or financial conflict of interest. If so, objections must be submitted within 10 calendar days. The DO will make the final determination of whether a conflict exists.

D. Charge to the Committee

The RIO will define the subject matter of the investigation in a written charge to the committee that:

  • Describes the allegations and related issues identified during the inquiry;
  • Identifies the respondent;
  • Informs the committee that it must conduct the investigation as prescribed in paragraph E. of this section;
  • Defines research misconduct;
  • Informs the committee that it must evaluate the evidence and testimony to determine whether, based on a preponderance of the evidence, research misconduct occurred and, if so, the type and extent of it and who was responsible;
  • Informs the committee that in order to determine that the respondent committed research misconduct it must find that a preponderance of the evidence establishes that: (1) research
    misconduct, as defined in this policy, occurred (respondent has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence any affirmative defenses raised, including honest error or a difference of opinion); (2) the research misconduct is a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community; and (3) the respondent committed the research misconduct intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly; and
  • Informs the committee that it must prepare or direct the preparation of a written investigation report that meets the requirements of this policy.
E. First Meeting of the Committee

The RIO will convene the first meeting of the investigation committee to review the charge, the inquiry report, and the prescribed procedures and standards for the conduct of the investigation, including the necessity for confidentiality and for developing a specific investigation plan. The investigation committee will be provided with a copy of this policy and applicable policies of the extramural funding source(s), if any. The RIO will be present or available throughout the investigation to advise the committee as needed.

F. Investigation Process

The investigation committee and the RIO must:

  • Use diligent efforts to ensure that the investigation is thorough and sufficiently documented and includes examination of all relevant research records and evidence necessary to reaching a decision on the merits of each allegation;
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure an impartial and unbiased investigation;
  • Interview each respondent, complainant, and any other available person who has been reasonably identified as having relevant information regarding the investigation, including witnesses identified by the respondent. The testimony of each witness must be transcribed and a copy of the transcript provided to each interviewee for correction. The corrected transcript must be included in the record of the investigation; and
  • Pursue diligently all significant issues and leads discovered that are determined relevant to the investigation, including any evidence of any additional instances of possible research misconduct, and continue the investigation to completion.
G. Time for Completion

The investigation should be completed within 120 days of the DO’s decision, including conducting the investigation, preparing the report of findings, providing the draft report for comment and sending the final report to any extramural funding sources, if required, unless the RIO determines that circumstances clearly warrant a longer period. If the RIO approves an extension, the investigation record must include documentation of the reasons for exceeding the 120-day period. The respondent will be notified of any extension.

X. The Investigation Report

A. Elements of the Investigation Report

The investigation committee and the RIO are responsible for preparing a written draft report of the investigation that:

  • Identifies the respondent(s);
  • Describes the specific allegations of research misconduct considered in the investigation
  • Describes and documents the extramural support, including, for example, the numbers of any grants that are involved, grant applications, contracts, and publications listing support;
  • Includes the institutional policies and procedures under which the investigation was conducted;
  • Identifies and summarizes the research records and evidence reviewed and identifies any evidence taken into custody but not reviewed; and
  • Includes a statement of findings for each allegation of research misconduct identified during the investigation.

Each statement of findings must: (1) identify whether the research misconduct did or did not occur; (2) if it did occur, was the misconduct falsification, fabrication, or plagiarism, and whether it was committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly; (3) identify the person(s) responsible for the misconduct; (4) summarize the facts and the analysis that support the conclusion and consider the merits of any reasonable explanation by the respondent, including any effort by respondent to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she did not engage in research misconduct because of honest error or a difference of opinion; (5) identify any specific extramural support; (6) identify whether any publications need correction or retraction; (7) list any current support or known applications or proposals for support that the respondent has pending with extramural funding sources; and (8) list any recommended institutional actions to respond to a finding of research misconduct.

College counsel should review the report for compliance with regulatory authority and this policy. Modifications should be made as appropriate in consultation with the RIO and the investigation committee.

B. Comments on the Draft Report and Access to Evidence

1. Respondent

The RIO must provide each respondent a copy of the draft investigation report for comment and, concurrently, a copy of, or supervised access to the evidence on which the report is based. Each respondent will be allowed 30 days from the date he/she received the draft report to submit comments to the RIO. The respondent’s comments must be included and considered in the final
report.

2. Complainant

The RIO must provide the complainant a copy of the draft investigation report, or relevant portions of it, for comment. Any comments by the complainant must be submitted to the RIO within 30 days of the date on which the complainant received the draft report and the comments must be included and considered in the final report.

3. Confidentiality

In distributing the draft report, or portions thereof, to the respondent and the complainant, the RIO will inform the recipients of the confidentiality under which the draft report is made available and will require that the recipient sign a confidentiality agreement.

D. Decision by Deciding Official

The RIO will assist the investigation committee in finalizing the draft investigation report, including ensuring that the respondent’s and complainant’s comments are included and considered, and transmit the final investigation report to the DO.

Within 10 days, the DO will render a decision in writing stating whether the College accepts, all or in part, the investigation report and its findings. The decision shall also identify the appropriate actions the University will take in response to any findings of research misconduct.

If the DO’s decision materially varies from the findings or recommendations of the investigation committee, the decision will contain an explanation of the DO”s reasons for the variation. Alternatively, the DO may return the report to the investigation committee with a request for further fact-finding or analysis.

If the DO’s decides that research misconduct is substantiated by the findings, he or she will also decide, after consultation with the RIO, on the appropriate actions to be taken. The administrative actions may include:

  • Withdrawal or correction of all pending or published abstracts and papers emanating from the research where research misconduct was found;
  • Removal of the responsible person from the particular project, letter of reprimand, special monitoring of future work, probation, suspension, salary reduction, or initiation of steps leading to possible rank reduction or termination of employment;
  • Restitution of funds to the grantor agency as appropriate; and
  • Other action appropriate to the misconduct

When a final decision on the case has been reached, the RIO will notify both the respondent and the complainant in writing. The RIO will also provide the appropriate notification to the extramural funding sources, if any, and will determine whether other relevant parties should be notified of the outcome of the case. (i.e., law enforcement agencies, professional societies, professional licensing boards, editors of journals in which falsified reports may have been published, collaborators of the respondent in the work, etc.)

D. Appeals

The decision of the DO is final subject only to review by the College Board of Trustees.

E. Notice to Extramural  Funding Sources of Institutional Findings and Actions

Upon the DO’s final decision, if required, the RIO will submit the following to the extramural funding source: (1) a copy of the final investigation report with all attachments; (2) a statement of whether the institution accepts the findings of the investigation report; (3) a statement of whether the institution found misconduct and, if so, who committed the misconduct; and (4) a description of any pending or completed administrative actions against the respondent.

F. Maintaining Records for Review by Extramural Funding Sources

The RIO must maintain and provide upon request “records of research misconduct proceedings” to the extramural funding source, if any. Records of research misconduct proceedings must be maintained in a secure manner for 7 years after completion of the proceeding. The RIO is also responsible for providing any information, documentation, research records, evidence or clarification requested by the extramural funding source , if any, to carry out its review of an allegation of research misconduct or of the institution’s handling of such an allegation.

XI. Completion of Cases; Reporting Premature Closures

Generally, all inquiries and investigations will be carried through to completion and all significant issues will be pursued diligently. If required, the RIO will notify extramural funding sources, if any, in advance if there are plans to close a case at the inquiry, investigation, or appeal stage on the basis that the respondent has admitted guilt or a settlement with the respondent has been reached.

XII. Other Considerations

A. Termination or Resignation Prior to Completing Inquiry or Investigation

The termination of the respondent’s institutional employment, by resignation or otherwise, before or after an allegation of possible research misconduct has been reported, will not preclude or terminate the research misconduct proceeding or otherwise limit any of the institution’s responsibilities under this policy.

If the respondent, without admitting to the misconduct, elects to resign his or her position after the College receives an allegation of research misconduct, the assessment of the allegation including the inquiry and investigation, as appropriate, will proceed. If the respondent refuses to participate in the process after resignation, the RIO and any inquiry or investigation committee will use their best efforts to reach a conclusion concerning the allegations, noting in the report the respondent’s failure to cooperate and its effect on the evidence.

B. Restoration of the Respondent’s Reputation

Following a final finding of no research misconduct, the RIO will, at the request of the respondent, undertake all reasonable and practical efforts to restore the respondent’s reputation. Depending on the particular circumstances and the views of the respondent, the RIO should consider

(1) notifying those individuals aware of or involved in the investigation of the final outcome;
(2) publicizing the final outcome in any forum in which the allegation of research misconduct was previously publicized; and
(3) expunging all reference to the research misconduct allegation from the respondent’s personnel file. Any institutional actions to restore the respondent’s reputation should first be approved by the DO.

C. Protection of the Complainant, Witnesses and Committee Members

During the research misconduct proceeding and upon its completion, regardless of whether the College determines that research misconduct occurred, the RIO will undertake all reasonable and practical efforts to protect the position and reputation of, or to counter potential or actual retaliation against, any complainant who made allegations of research misconduct in good faith and of any witnesses and committee members who cooperate in good faith with the research misconduct proceeding. The DO will determine, after consulting with the RIO, and with the complainant, witnesses, or committee members, respectively, what steps, if any, are needed to restore their respective positions or reputations or to counter potential or actual retaliation against them. The RIO is responsible for implementing any steps the DO approves.

D. Allegations Not Made in Good Faith

If relevant, the DO will determine whether the complainant’s allegations of research misconduct were made in good faith, or whether a witness or committee member acted in good faith. If the DO determines that there was an absence of good faith he/she will determine whether any administrative action should be taken against the person who failed to act in good faith.

Updated on April 26, 2022

Related Articles

Leave a Comment