Office of Faculty Affairs

Faculty Handbook

Research Integrity

From University System of Maryland Policy: The inherent requirement for integrity in the quest for knowledge and in the creation of scholarly and artistic works is fundamental to the academic purpose. Deviations from the proper conduct of scholarly work erode the public's confidence in science, in scholarship and in institutions of higher education. The University System of Maryland expects that the highest ethical standards as well as compliance with public laws and regulations will prevail in the conduct of its activities. Click here for the full policy. Click here for University Procedures on Research Misconduct.

Research misconduct is most often used to describe falsification (changing or omitting data: click here for a case study from the Online Ethics Center), fabrication (making up data), or plagiarism (using another person’s ideas or work without proper credit). Plagiarism can include instances of self-plagiarism. (Click here for information from The Office of Research Integrity on plagiarism, including self-plagiarism.) All of these have been identified as areas of concern by United States Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and can impact both individual and University funding and reputation.

University Policy highlights seven areas of research misconduct (listed below). Several resources are identified to help faculty and students conducting research avoid research misconduct. The University’s Responsible Conduct of Research site has information about training that faculty or students can complete. (Please note that students completing examinations or assignments for courses are governed by different policies such as the Code of Academic Integrity).

  1. Falsification of data
    Click here and here for case studies on falsification of data from ORI.
  2. Improper manipulation of experiments
  3. Plagiarism
    Visit the ORI’s Guide to Ethical Writing. Click here for information on image manipulation from ORI as it pertains to research misconduct.
  4. Improper assignment of credit
    Click here for more information on authorship from ORI.
  5. Abuse of confidentiality
  6. Deliberate violation of regulations
    Click here for University policies governing research.
  7. Misappropriation of funds or resources

Reporting Research Misconduct

If you suspect research misconduct, you should report it to the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs in writing. The Senior Vice President and Provost has designated the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs as the research integrity officer for research misconduct investigations. In that capacity, the Office of Faculty Affairs manages the investigation, findings, and reporting phases on behalf of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

If you have questions before making a report, Department Chairs, Directors, Deans, the Vice President of Research, the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs or the Senior Vice President and Provost are all available for informal discussions. For more information on the reporting process, please click here.

Other Resources

The United States Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has many resources on the topic of research misconduct. The Lab is an interactive video that allows users to play the role of graduate student, post doc, principle investigator, or research administrator. This video can be used both as an individual or as a training for a larger group. Click here to download the companion guide for using this video.

ORI recently released a new series of videos regarding research integrity. Click here to watch or download the videos.

Also see the HHS Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct.

ORI also provides links to other resources and to recent cases of misconduct.

This online module from Columbia University examines several common reasons for research misconduct and discusses ways for those in supervisory roles to mitigate those risk factors.