Policy I-13

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(Approved: UFC 2/10/98; 4/24/07; BFC: 4/3/07, 12/1/09)


The primary mission of the university is to search for truth, and its members are strongly committed to this mission. Research conducted under the aegis of the university, therefore, must be guided by norms which facilitate this search, and which foster a spirit of creativity and honesty in the process. Because the conduct of research rests on the foundation of intellectual honesty, violations call into question not only the validity of the particular research project but the social context in which it is conducted. Scholars must be able to trust their peers, students must be able to trust their teachers, and citizens must be able to trust the integrity of the results of research performed in institutions of higher education.

The major responsibility for maintaining standards of intellectual integrity rests with individual scholars and with the departments in which they work. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon faculty members to exercise active leadership in their supervisory roles in mentoring, collaborating with, or directing junior colleagues, staff, or students. The larger institution has a major role to play in three respects: (1) providing an environment for open inquiry in which research can be conducted appropriately, (2) declaring the standards which must not be abrogated, and (3) enforcing the standards on those occasions where violations may have occurred.

The purpose of this document is to set forth the policies and procedures by which Indiana University seeks to maintain and enforce such standards through impartial fact-finding and fair adjudication of allegations of research misconduct. Policy and procedures described below are steps in an academic peer review and fact-finding process and are not intended or designed to represent rules of a judiciary proceeding or hearing. Principles of basic fairness and confidentiality shall be observed in these peer-review procedures.


Charge. A written allegation of misconduct that triggers the procedures described by this Policy.

Complainant. A person who submits a Charge of Research Misconduct. Deciding Official. (“DO”). Deciding Official shall be the university official appointed by the President to implement and oversee this policy on a particular campus in a manner that is consistent with applicable federal regulations.

Good Faith Charge. A Charge of Research Misconduct made by a Complainant who believes that Research Misconduct may have occurred. A Charge is not in good faith if it is made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the Charge.

Inquiry. The process under the Policy for information gathering and preliminary fact-finding to determine if a Charge or apparent instance of Research Misconduct has substance and therefore warrants an Investigation.

Investigation. The process under the Policy for the formal examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine whether Research Misconduct has occurred, and, if so, the responsible person and the seriousness of the misconduct.

Investigator. Any person, including but not limited to any person holding an academic or professional staff appointment at Indiana University, who is engaged in the design, conduct, or reporting of Research.

Misconduct. See “Research Misconduct.”

ORI. The Office of Research Integrity within the Department of Health and Human Services.

PHS. The unit of Public Health Services with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Research. A systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. The term encompasses basic, applied demonstration and research, as well as research training activities.

Research Integrity Officer (RIO). A person identified by the DO to have primary responsibility for assuring adherence to these procedures.

Research Misconduct.

(1) Research Misconduct means fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.
(a) Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
(b) Falsification is 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.
(c) Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
(2) On all campuses, except IUPUI*, Research Misconduct also includes (in addition to those acts specified in paragraph 1 above):
(a) material failure to comply with applicable federal requirements for protection of researchers, human participants, or the public; or for ensuring the welfare of laboratory animals;
(b) material failure to disclose all real or perceived conflict of interests; or
(c) an abuse of confidentiality, such as the use (or release to others) of ideas or preliminary data of others which were given in the expectation of confidentiality, such as those gained from
(i) access to privileged information through the opportunity for editorial review of manuscripts submitted to journals; and
(ii) the opportunity for peer review of proposals by external entities or by internal committees such as the Human Subjects Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee or other committees through which one gains access to privileged research-related information.

Research Misconduct does not include disputes regarding honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data, and is not intended to resolve bona fide scientific disagreement or debate. Research misconduct is also not intended to include “authorship” disputes such as complaints about appropriate ranking of co-authors in publications, presentations, or other work, unless the dispute constitutes plagiarism (as defined above).

Research Record. Any data, document, computer file, computer diskette, or any other written or non-written account or object that reasonably may be expected to provide evidence or information regarding the proposed, conducted, or reported research that constitutes the subject of a Charge of Research Misconduct. A Research Record includes, but is not limited to, grant or contract applications, whether funded or unfunded; grant or contract progress and other reports; laboratory notebooks; notes; printed or electronic correspondence; memoranda of telephone calls; videos; photographs; X-ray film; slides; biological materials; computer files and printouts; manuscripts and publications; equipment use logs; laboratory procurement records; animal facility records; human and animal subject protocols; consent forms; medical charts; and patient research files.

Respondent. The person against whom a Charge of Research Misconduct is directed, or the person whose actions are the subject of an Inquiry or Investigation.

RIO. See “Research Integrity Officer.”

Sponsored Programs. Research, training, and instructional projects involving funds, materials, gifts, or other compensation from external entities (including any individual and government agencies) under agreements with the University.

  • IUPUI has in place alternative mechanisms for dealing with the types of research misconduct described in paragraphs 2(a), 2(b) and 2(c).


This policy applies to (i) all individuals who hold university appointments and all graduate students who are engaged in the conduct of research, whether or not the research is funded, and to (ii) anyone affiliated with Indiana University engaged in research through a Sponsored Program to the extent of that research. Except as provided in clause (ii) above, academic misconduct of undergraduate students shall be dealt with through the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.

The Research Integrity Officer (RIO) may, in consultation with the Dean of the Graduate School, determine that an allegation of research misconduct on the part of a graduate student is more appropriately referred to the disciplinary channels provided in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct or such other disciplinary process duly established by the campus or an academic unit to take the place of the Code of Students Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.

The procedures adopted pursuant to the policy set forth in this document will apply to all allegations of unethical research practices unless specifically prohibited by an applicable negotiated settlement or by another disciplinary procedure established by the University.

Multi-Campus Jurisdiction

Cases involving multiple Respondents who are subject to the jurisdiction of different Indiana University campuses shall be handled through a single investigatory process pursuant to these Research Misconduct Procedures. The DO(s) of the involved campus(es), in consultation with the provost or chancellor(s) of the involved campus(es), shall determine which campus process will be used. If the DO(s) and provost/chancellor(s) of the involved campuses are unable to reach agreement, then the President shall determine which campus process will be used. Such determinations shall be final.

Duty to Cooperate

All persons to whom this Policy and Procedures apply, including those accused of misconduct, are obligated to cooperate with the process set forth in this document. Such cooperation shall include providing Research Records and other relevant information to the DO or his or her designee, and refraining from actions that are retaliatory or other actions that impair the process set forth in this Policy.