Research Misconduct Definitions

Research Misconduct Definitions

Research integrity may be defined as active adherence to the ethical principles and professional standards essential for the responsible practice of research.

Fabrication - making up data or results and recording them in the research record.
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.

By active adherence we mean adoption of the principles and practices as a personal credo, not simply accepting them as impositions by rulemakers.

By ethical principles we mean honesty, the golden rule, trustworthiness, and high regard for the scientific record. 

NAS report definition: "For individuals research integrity is an aspect of moral character and experience. It involves above all a commitment to intellectual honesty and personal responsibility for ones actions and to a range of practices that characterize responsible research conduct." These practices include:

While science requires vigorous defense of one's ideas and work, ultimately research integrity means examining the data with objectivity and being guided by the results rather than by preconceived notions.

Other Violations of Research Integrity

  • Abuse of confidentiality
  • Dishonesty in publication
  • Property violations
  • Failure to report observed research misconduct
  • Retaliation
  • Directing or encouraging others to engage in research misconduct or any of the above offenses