6.   Research Integrity

Misconduct and reporting   


Briefing Tools

Ask the Expert

Test your knowledge

Stanford Policy

* Principles Concerning

* Research

* University
Code of Conduct




Resources and Tools 

* On Being
A Scientist:
Responsible Conduct
In Research

(National Academy
of Sciences)


Research is a human enterprise. Scientists are susceptible to human error and may certainly engage in differences of opinion about interpretations or judgments of data. Researchers also work under difficult constraints, such that publication pressures, limited resources and other contingencies can push against the desire to maximize quality.

Responsible research conduct includes maintaining high quality standards, while acknowledging mistakes. Research integrity rests on the judgment and conscience of the researcher.

Error and Negligence in Science
[ National Academy of Sciences ]

Beyond human error or negligence, there are also errors that involve deliberate deception. Research misconduct is defined as "fabrication, falsification, plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results."

Stanford University, along with the agencies that fund research conducted here, has explicit policy requirements related to allegations, investigations and reporting of research misconduct.

At the heart of discussion on these topics is concern about ethical responsibilities and reporting requirements. Integrity and conscience demand not only personal adherence to ethical standards, but reporting of suspected violations of those standards. Responsibilities in this regard are codified in two separate policies at Stanford University, i.e., in the policy on Research Misconduct and in the University Code of Conduct.

Violations should be reported in confidence through normal organizational channels. In the case of research misconduct, reports should be made to the dean of the appropriate school.

Handling Misconduct
[ DHHS Office
of Research Integrity
site ]

Where reporting within a School structure is difficult, perceived violations of laws, regulations or grant/contract terms may be reported to the Director of Internal Audit or the General Counsel. Reports may be made confidentially, or even anonymously. Reporting such concerns in good faith is a service to the University and to the larger academic community, and will not jeopardize anyone's employment. (See Stanford's Institutional Compliance program and "helpline.")


Navigation Tools
to Page 1 to Previous

to next
to index