Academic Research Integrity

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Are you familiar with the concepts of academic integrity or research misconduct? Learn what a student’s ethical responsibilities are as an academic researcher in handling and managing data, working …

Are you familiar with the concepts of academic integrity or research misconduct? Learn what a student’s ethical responsibilities are as an academic researcher in handling and managing data, working with human subjects, and contributing to a larger body of knowledge. This is a presentation developed through the Graduate Resource Center at the University of New Mexico.

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  • Each of us as a member of the scientific community shares the responsibility for upholding the integrity of the research process and of the scholarship that results from this effort. It is important that we don’t ignore or tolerate misconduct when it occurs and that we take action when necessary to correct problems. Research integrity calls each of us, as members of the greater scientific community, to responsible action not indifference when research misconduct occurs. Speaking up however about ethical concerns though emotionally and morally satisfying often brings with it some negative consequences. So, it is really important to count the cost before you speak out. Don’t assume that your privacy will or can be protected. That is not to say that you shouldn’t speak out for fear of possible personal penalty or reprisal but that you should make sure that you are prepared to deal with the possible consequences of your actions. At a minimum, those who bring to light misconduct are often branded “whistleblowers.” There may also be significant personal and professional costs including the advent of adverse and hostile working conditions, loss of job or demotion, etc. The bottom line is that it takes courage and conviction to speak out.If you wish to report an allegation, you should report the incident in writing and provide as much information as possible including the nature of the alleged misconduct, the name of the individual(s) involved and their role(s) in the incident, the date and location of the incident, and a detailed description of the incident. Any written documentation supporting your concerns should be cited and provided as well. Depending on the severity of the situation, your college and/or university may act quickly to form a committee to investigate the alleged misconduct. Since serious allegations are not encountered routinely in academe, it is difficult to describe here the specifics of the investigation process but you should expect it to be protracted and likely contentious by virtue of the seriousness of the allegations involved. The Office of Research Integrity has published model procedures that should be used when allegations of research misconduct are made in laboratories receiving federal support.Documented examples of genuine research misconduct are rare. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research Integrity (NIH ORI) publishes on ORI's website summaries of recent closed cases that concluded that misconduct had occurred or that resulted in administrative action but did not conclude that misconduct had occurred.


  • 1. Academic and Research Integrity UNM Jump Start Institute: April 28, 2012Gary Harrison, Dean of Graduate StudiesWilliam L. Gannon, Director,Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research, Office of VP for Research
  • 2. Graduate Roles and ResponsibilitiesProfessional Identity: Developing a sense of yourself as a disciplined member of your professional community involves:– Personal commitment and dedication– Self discipline, self-motivation, organization, time management, goal-orientation– Producing and disseminating new knowledge or creative work– Responsible and ethical conduct in the academic enterprise
  • 3. What do we mean by Academic and Research Integrity?• The core values that underlie the responsible and ethical production, and the fair and respectful dissemination, of research, scholarship and creative work in institutions of higher education.• The Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) at Clemson University defines academic integrity as “a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals to action.”For a free CAI booklet visit:
  • 4. To whom does academic and research integrity apply?• Students• Faculty• Staff “The ability of the university to achieve its purposes depends upon the quality and integrity of the academic work that its faculty, staff, and students perform.” (Rights, Rules, Responsibilities. Princeton University 1995.)
  • 5. What does academic and research integrity involve?“Academic integrity includes, but is not limited to, honesty and fairness in quizzes, examinations, and assignments; properly acknowledging the work of others in papers, theses, and dissertations; and following ethical and responsible practices when conducting research.”(UNM Guide to Graduate Studies)“The Scientific research enterprise is built on a foundation of trust. Scientists trust that the results reported by others are valid. Society trusts that the results of research reflect and honest attempt by scientists to describe the world accurately without bias. But this trust will endure only if the scientific community devotes itself to exemplifying and transmitting the values associated with ethical scientific conduct.” (On being a scientist, National Academies Press)
  • 6. What is at stake in academic and research integrity?“. . . nothing less than public trust in the research, writing, and creative work produced at the university.”(UNM Guide to Graduate Studies)“Academic freedom can flourish only in a community of scholars which recognizes that intellectual integrity, with its accompanying rights and responsibilities, lies at the heart of its mission. Observing basic honesty in one’s work, words, ideas, and actions is a principle to which all members of the community are required to subscribe.”(Rights, Rules, Responsibilities. Princeton University 1995.)
  • 7. What is Responsible Conduct of Research? To achieve excellence in research and maintain public trust in research outcomes, an environment that promotes and fosters the Academics with Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research (“RCR”) is critical. As of January 2010, both National Science Foundation (“NSF”) and National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) began the requirement that all institutions who receive federal funds establish a plan for providing and certifying completion of RCR instruction by From Research and Publishing in investigators . Neurosurgery, Y. Kanpolat (2002) Springer UNM’s Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (“RECR”) program serves as a central resource for RCR guidance and coordinates RCR instruction on campus. This Scientific Integrity Plan (“SIP”) establishes appropriate standards for RCR instruction, .
  • 8. Responsible Conduct of ResearchUNM Scientific Integrity Plan core areas of instruction: • Conflict of interest and commitment • Ethical use of human and animal subjects in research • Authorship and publication • Data acquisition, management, ownership, and sharing • Peer review • Mentoring and mentee relationships • Research misconduct (plagiarism, fabrication, falsification) and whistleblower ethics • Collaborative research, including with industry • The scientist as a responsible member of society.
  • 9. Whistleblowing• Misconduct is: – Fabrication, Falsification, Plagiarism (Fed Register)• Questionable Research Practices (not MC) – Poor data management, record keeping, or note taking (Research shows 1/100 researchers.)• When should you speak out? Document? – Criminal action is involved; – Research misconduct has occurred; – Physical injury or loss of life could result; and/or – Facilities, equipment or materials and resources are at risk
  • 10. What is Research Compliance?• Biohazard Compliance Office -• BioSafety: UNM Safety and Risk Services -• Conflicts of Interest (COI), Main Campus Sciences Center -• Export Control Industrial Security• Human Research Protections Office -• Office of Animal Care and Compliance -• Radiation Safety -• University Counsel: Research and Technology Law Group
  • 11. RCRCertificationResponsible Conduct of Research certification can be attained by: – attending symposia, brownbag discussion groups, 8 contact-hour courses (that can be customized to need and range from 8 weeks to 2 days); – receiving RCR instruction that provided within existing courses or professional development seminars, such as workshops offered through the Graduate Student Funding Initiative. (See
  • 12. How do we recognize academic and research integrity? We tend to recognize academic integrity in the breach. – Cheating on quizzes and exams – Plagiarizing in written work or verbal presentations – Fabricating data or bibliographical information – Unauthorized collaboration – Falsifying grades – Misrepresenting oneself to gain advantage
  • 13. What are the causes of the rise of cheating and plagiarism?• Peer acceptance (Ma et al. 2006)• Availability and ease of internet sources• Lack of understanding about academic integrity• Lack of institutional or classroom policies or codes of conduct• Lack of detection• Lack of consequences• Product oriented assignments and examinations• High stakes assignments and examinations• Pressure to succeed and achieve
  • 14. As a student, what can you do to ensure compliance?• Practice and model the values of academic integrity: – Honesty – Trust – Fairness – Respect – Responsibility• Take careful notes and document your sources and data.• Give yourself sufficient time to complete assignments—avoid last minute rush.• Trust yourself: your ideas expressed in your own words are valuable.• Consider the value of learning for its own sake.• Consider the consequences.
  • 15. What are UNM’s Policies?UNM Pathfinder: ( SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION Appropriate disciplinary procedures and sanctions shall be applied to any student who commits, or attempts to commit, any of the following acts of misconduct: [ . . .] 2.4. Academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; hindering the academic work of other students; misrepresenting academic or professional qualifications within or without the University; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other University records.DEAN OF STUDENTS OFFICE, STUDENT ACADEMIC HONESTY( Sanctions Possible sanctions for academic dishonesty range from a verbal or written warning to disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion, along with attendance at appropriate workshops or other educational sanctions. Specific definitions of these sanctions can be found in The UNM Pathfinder.
  • 16. “If we knew what it was we were doing,it would not be called research, would it?” ~Albert Einstein (standing with Marie Curie) Questions?
  • 17. UNM Contacts on Academic and Research IntegrityThe Dean of Students Office 277-3361 Office of Graduate Studies 277-2711 College of EducationOffice of Academic Affairs and Faculty Development 277-8933 Office of the Vice President for ResearchResponsible and Ethical Conduct of Research Program 277-3488, 277-6128 Dean Harrison, 277-2711, Dr. Gannon – 249-7906,