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Responsible Conduct of Research: Research Misconduct

This guide offers some materials to begin your research on the following topics: animal research subjects, authorship, conflict of interest, data integrity and management, human research participants and research misconduct.

Research Misconduct Policies

Statistics on Misconduct




Final Report: Observing and Reporting Suspected Misconduct in Biomedical Research.” 2008, Apr 8. The Gallup Organization for Office of Research Integrity.

Office of Research Integrity. Annual Report, 2020.

Martinson, Brian C.; Melissa S. Anderson, and Raymond de Vries, Raymond. (2005) "Scientists Behaving Badly." Nature, Vol. 435 Issue 7043, p737-738.

Wadman, Meredith. (2005) "One In Three Scientists Confesses to Having Sinned." Nature Vol. 435 Issue 7043, p718-719.

Results of a 205 survey of over 3,000 early and mid-career scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health found that while only 1.5% admitted to falsification and plagiarism, one of every three scientists admitted to indulging in questionable research behaviors.  

Titus, Sandra L.; James A. Wells, and Lawrence J. Rhoades.  (2008)" Repairing Research Integrity." Nature, Vol. 453 Issue 7198, p980-982.

Results from a 2006 survey of scientists holding National Institutes of Health (NIH) extramural research funds at 605 institutions about research misconduct in the United States.

Books, Anthologies and Other Resources


Gunsalas, C.K. 1998. How to blow the whistle and still have a career afterwards. Science and Engineering Ethics. 4(1):51-64. 

Filing charges of scientific misconduct can be a risky and dangerous endeavor. This article presents 'rules of conduct' to follow when considering whether to report perceived misconduct, and a 'set of step-by-step procedures' for responsible whistle-blowing that describe how to do so once the decision to report misconduct has been made. This advice is framed within the university setting and may not apply fully in industrial settings.

ORI Guidelines for Institutions and Whistleblowers: Responding to Possible Retaliation Against Whistleblowers in Extramural Research. United States, Office of Research Integrity. 1995.

This publication by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity lays out a model set of guidelines that institutions can use to fulfill the requirement under the Public Health Service (PHS) Act must establish policies and procedures that provide for "undertaking diligent efforts to protect the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, make allegations." 42 C.F.R. Part 50.103(d)(13). It includes the Whistleblower's Bill or Rights, and ORI's suggest approach for handling whistleblower retaliation cases that arise at institutions who receive federal funding for biomedical or behavioral research or research training.





Case Investigations by Government Agencies/Professional Organizations


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Kelly Laas
Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions
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Subjects: Ethics

Ethics Education Library

Search the Ethics Education Library for more information on misconduct in science, whistleblowing, and other related topics