Research Integrity Office

Research Misconduct

Defining research misconduct:

Research Misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, and/or plagiarism when proposing, performing or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. A charge of research misconduct must be made by someone who believes that research misconduct may have occurred.

Fabrication: making up data or results

Falsification: manipulating materials, equipment or processes, or changing/omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record

Plagiarism: appropriating another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

What is the policy? IU is strongly committed to the mission to search for truth and to foster a spirit of creativity and honesty in the process. IU has a major role to play in three respects

  1. Providing an environment for open inquiry in which research can be conducted appropriately
  2. Declaring the standards which must not be abrogated
  3. Enforcing the standards on those occasions where violations may have occurred

IU has a policy on research misconduct that must be followed when there is fabrication, falsification, and/or plagiarism involved in research.

  • You have an obligation to report research misconduct
  • Reporting research misconduct ensures
    • Honesty
    • Research integrity
    • Responsible conduct of research
    • Trust in peer review
    • Confidence in academics
    • Community support in research

The IU Policy and Procedures on Research Misconduct as well as additional resources are available on the RIO Informational Materials page.

What is the procedure? The policy and procedures by which IU seeks to maintain and enforce such standards through impartial fact-finding and fair adjudication of allegations of research misconduct. The policy and procedures are steps in an academic peer review and fact-finding process and are not intended or designed to represent rules of a judiciary proceeding or hearing. Principles of basic fairness and confidentiality shall be observed in specific peer-review procedures.

Allegation→ Inquiry→ Investigation

  • Allegation: A written allegation of misconduct that triggers the procedures described by this policy.
  • Inquiry: The process for information gathering and preliminary fact-finding to determine if a charge or apparent instance of Research Misconduct has substance & therefore warrants an Investigation.
  • Investigation: The process for the formal examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine whether Research Misconduct occurred, and, if so, the responsible person and the seriousness of the misconduct.

What are the procedural requirements for finding research misconduct?

A finding of research misconduct requires 3 standards of review:

  1. Significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community
  2. Research misconduct committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly
  3. Allegation be proven by a preponderance of evidence

Anonymity: Anonymity will be protected to the extent possible. However, your identity may become known during the course of the investigation.

How to report research misconduct at IU? If you have reason to believe that research misconduct occurred, the University recommends an informal meeting with a Research Integrity Officer (RIO) to discuss your concerns. The RIO is responsible for assessing research misconduct claims, determining when the research claim needs to move into an Inquiry for fact-finding purposes, and ensuring that the policy and procedures are followed.

RIO for Indiana University
Shelley Bizila, MS, CIP, CCEP
(317) 274-5524

Anonymous Reporting
(888) 236-7542

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