Research Misconduct
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Research Misconduct This workshop is part of the Responsible Conduct of Research Series A certificate is given for the completion of this workshop (see WSU Policy 2101 for Details on Misconduct). Don’t Lie, Cheat or Steal!.

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Don t lie cheat or steal

Research MisconductThis workshop is part of the Responsible Conduct of Research SeriesA certificate is given for the completion of this workshop(see WSU Policy 2101 for Details on Misconduct)

Don t lie cheat or steal
Don’t Lie, Cheat or Steal!

  • However, it can be much more complicated than that. There are other legal and media issues that can get in the way.

  • If you are a researcher then you must act ethically.

  • If you see someone else acting irresponsibly, then you must do something about. That means telling the Research Integrity Officer (me) and no one else.

  • There are huge pressures on people to cheat and cut corners.

I covered not covered principles
I. Covered/Not Covered Principles

  • IA. Covered Principles

  • 1. Ethical Research Conduct:

  • Honest and truthful data gathering and recording in theoretical and bench research with appropriate credit given to sources and collaborators

  • 2. Research Misconduct:

  • Deliberate self-serving act of distortion of the truth by any institutional member of the University (officials, tenured, untenured and adjunct faculty, students, graduate assistants, technicians), thus harming the process in IA/1.

  • Specifically: Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

  • IB. Not Covered Principles

  • Sexual harassment (see Wright Way Policy § 4001.21)

  • Misappropriations of funds (Section 2921.41, Ohio Revised Code)

  • Failure of compliance with policies governing human subjects/lab animals

  • Failure to comply with guidelines/conditions of external sponsors or university

Let s talk about the categories of misconduct
Let’s talk about the Categories of Misconduct

  • What is Fabrication? Good Record Keeping can help!

  • What is Falsification? Don’t cherry pick data!

  • What is Plagiarism? Good referencing techniques can help. Computer programs now exist that look for plagiarism.

What are some of the nuances
What are some of the nuances?

  • Jurisdiction counts.

  • The RIO acts as an investigator and goes through procedures much like the FBI.

  • There is an Office of Research Integrity. They really act like the FBI, but they also educate. Their website is:

  • To make an allegation, you do not have to put it in writing. Tell the RIO.

  • Is sloppy work misconduct?

  • The fight for First Authorship is not Research Misconduct. The fight for authorship is.

  • It has to be Research not a class exercise.

Ii definitions of players
II. Definitions of Players

  • II.1. Complainant, any member (or non-member) of the academic community, including students and technical personnel making an allegation, true or false, of research misconduct against

  • II.2. Respondent, any institutional member of the University (officials, tenured, untenured and adjunct faculty, students, graduate assistants, technicians), accused by Complainant of deeds listed in I.A.2.

  • II.3. Research Integrity Officer (RIO) [at WSU VP for Research].

  • Receives the allegation from II.1. about I.A.2

  • Is guarantor of confidentiality of matters between II.1. and II.2.

  • Initiates Assessment Phase, and then, if necessary, Inquiry Phase by naming Inquiry Committee (InqC)

  • If necessary, opens Investigative Phase by naming Investigative Committee (InvC)

  • Takes administrative actions as a result of InvC vote

  • Informs DO [see II.4] who reports results of InvC to sponsor if required

  • Protects Complainant and restores reputation of Respondent if not guilty of research misconduct

Ii definitions of players continued
II. Definitions of Players (continued)

  • II.4. Deciding Officer (DO) [at WSU Provost]

  • Is consulted by theRIO at various points in the process

  • Communicates final decisions to Respondent and Complainant; notifies sponsor(s) if required

  • Initiates administrative actions against Respondent if found guilty. These actions affect the position of the Respondent in the institution and may terminate external support.

  • II.5. Inquiry Committee (InqC)

  • Is composed ofan uneven number (at least 3) of members of the academic community

  • Receives charge from the RIO; purpose is to determine if an Investigation is warranted

  • Reviews all records, interviews the Complainant, Respondent, key witnesses

  • Makes final recommendation to the RIO by majority vote

  • Inquiry must be completed within 60 days

Ii definitions of players continued1
II. Definitions of Players (continued)

  • II.6. Investigative Committee (InvC)

  • Composed ofan uneven number (at least 5) of members of the academic community, including a veteran technical expert, a faculty familiar with the field of allegation and, depending on the case, a student.

  • Receives charge from the RIO and deals with charge; primary purpose is to develop a factual record by exploring the allegations in detail and examining the evidence in depth, leading to recommended findings on whether research misconduct has been committed, by whom, and to what extent

  • Reviews all records; interviews the Complainant, Respondent, key Witnesses

  • Makes final recommendation to the RIO by majority vote

  • Investigation must begin within 30 days of DO’s decision that an investigation is warranted, and be completed within 120 days

Iii phases of process
III. Phases of Process

III. 1.Assessment Phase §2101.6.a.

Determination by RIO, with concurrence of DO, whether an an allegation of research misconduct meets criteria for being covered by this policy; proceed to Inquiry Phase, if it does. If either the complainant or respondent is a Bargaining Unit Faculty Member, the union must be notified before first contact with the respondent and be present in all phase of the process. This means assessment, inquiry and investigation

III.2. Inquiry Phase §2101.6.ab. - 2101.7.c.

Preliminary fact finding to determine whether an Investigation is warranted; involves the RIO, DO, and Inquiry Committee

III.3. Investigation Phase §2101.8.- §2101.9.

RIO sequesters records (if needed), notifies Respondent, appoints and charges an Investigation Committee; the Investigation Committee conducts interviews that are transcribed, pursues all leads, and prepares a draft report for the RIO; the RIO sends report to Respondent with request for comments, and submits, with Respondent comments, final report to DO

III.4. Outcomes. DO takes actions as specified in II.4. leading to either restoration of Respondent’s integrity, or administrative actions against Respondent including personnel actions and termination of research support by external funding agencies; protects Complainant against retributions.

What else can happen
What Else Can Happen?

  • University conducts its processes.

  • Agency can launch its own investigation.

  • Either party can go to court.

  • The news media may come in and report the incident.

The plagiarism case at ohio university
The Plagiarism Case at Ohio University

  • Student reported plagiarism by successive waves a students in a lab run by a distinguished professor and an untenured professor.

  • The Dean launched his own investigation.

  • The Provost launched an investigation.

  • NSF inspector general became interested.

  • One untenured professor was let go.

  • Five years later the professor was still fighting the charges and now has had some vindication in court.

  • Universities can’t ignore their policies.

  • It became a major embarrassment for Ohio U.

The plagiarism case at oklahoma state
The Plagiarism Case at Oklahoma State

  • A regents professor copied the work of others for 20 years.

  • He was a cultural geographer and the field was small and somewhat obscure.

  • A computer program that looks for plagiarized passages found him out.

  • He was forced into an early retirement.

Data falsification at the university of michigan

The Respondent tampered with research materials related to five (5) immunoprecipitation/Western blot experiments and switched the labels on four cell culture dishes for cells used in the same type of experiments to cause false results to be reported.

The Respondent tampered with laboratory research materials by adding ethanol to his colleague's cell culture media, with the deliberate intent to effectuate the death of growing cells, which caused false results to be reported in the research record.

The Respondent eventually made an admission only after the UM police informed him that his actions in the laboratory had been videotaped.

1974 data fabrication

  • In an experiment designed to show the control of tissue rejection an experimenter cultred cells form a black mouse for 4-6 weeks.

  • He then transferred these cells to all white mice and let them recover.

  • The results looked like:

Except this is how he did it
Except this is how he did it!

  • It was a clear case of Data Fabrication

Records retention and management
Records Retention and Management

  • The University Owns the Data!

  • WSU’s record retention and management policy is found:

Keep a good lab notebook
Keep a Good Lab Notebook

  • Write up each experiment as if it were a research paper.

  • Be clear on the methods used.

  • Show all the results as they were obtained.

  • Summarize your ideas.

  • Sign and date each page.

  • Get someone to sign off weekly as a witness.

  • The data belongs to the university not you or your professor. You can take a copy with you, but clear it with your professor.

  • Data management plans are now a federal requirement. This includes primary data storage.