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Research Misconduct Process

There are 3 stages in the research misconduct process as listed below:

  1. Assessment
  • The Research Integrity Officer (RIO) assess the allegation to determine if it (1) meets the definition of research misconduct and (2) is sufficiently credible and specific.
  • If both criteria are met, then the case proceeds to the Inquiry stage.
  • There are no time limits imposed in the Assessment stage.
    2. Inquiry


  • The Inquiry stage is used to conduct an initial review of available evidence to determine if an Investigation is needed.
  • At this time, the accused individual(s) is notified and evidence is sequestered if necessary.
  • The RIO appoints and charges an Inquiry Official or Committee.
  • The Inquiry Official or Committee has 60 days to complete this phase. An Investigation is warranted if: (1) the allegation falls withing the definition of research misconduct and (2) preliminary information gathering and fact finding indicate the allegation(s) has substance.
  • The final Inquiry report goes to the Vice President for Research for a decision on whether an Investigation is warranted.
  • Federal sponsors may be notified if applicable.
      3. Investigation


  • The Investigation is the stage where the allegation(s) is explored in detail and evidence is examined in depth, leading to a determination of whether research misconduct was committed, by whom and to what extent.
  • Notice to the accused and additional sequestration takes place, if needed.
  • The RIO appoints and charges an Investigation Committee.
  • The Investigation Committee has 120 days to complete this phase. The standard for making a finding of research misconduct is as follows: (1) research misconduct occurred, (2) research misconduct is a significant departure from accepted practices, and (3) the respondent committed the research misconduct intentionally, knowingly or recklessly.
  • Additional interviews are conducted if needed.
  • The final Investigation report goes the the Vice President for Research for a decision and imposition of internal actions or recommendations.
  • Federal sponsors are notified if applicable.

To report research misconduct, please see Reporting Misconduct.