Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results, according to 42 CFR Parts 50 and 93.
Fabrication: Making up data or results and recording or reporting them
Falsification: Manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
Plagiarism: The appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
A finding of research misconduct requires that
- There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community;
- The misconduct be committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly; and
- The allegation be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.
Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
All institutions receiving PHS funding must have written policies and procedures for addressing allegations of research misconduct. NIH and ORI have specific procedures in place to handle allegations of research misconduct, and all research misconduct involving NIH awards ultimately falls under the authority of ORI.
What is the NIH process for handling research misconduct if the allegation:
Is received by an institution?
Is received by NIH extramural staff?
Is received by ORI?
What happens if there is a finding of research misconduct?
What should you do if you suspect research misconduct?