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Policy on Research Integrity and Misconduct

University personnel assure quality and integrity in their research and publications primarily by self- regulation, by adherence to individual ethical codes and professional standards, and by reference to the traditions and collegiality that characterize research institutions. This section summarizes university policy on integrity in research, publication, and procedures for impartial fact-finding and fair adjudication of allegations of misconduct. Although it focuses on deterring and penalizing unacceptable conduct, its purpose is to promote compliance with the highest scholarly standards.

A variety of informal practices exist within the University for addressing questions and controversies that may arise concerning the conduct of scholarly activities. Most problems are and should be handled by reasoned discussion or informal mediation at the level of university organization closest to the persons involved.

The Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) has primary responsibility for fostering research integrity and for disseminating information about good research practices. The VCR appoints a Research Integrity Officer (RIO) who is primarily responsible for the correct observance of the procedures set forth in this document.

All members of the university community are expected to observe high standards of research integrity and ethical behavior in research and publication. Any practice or conduct by a member of the university community that seriously deviates from those commonly accepted ethical standards for proposing, conducting, and publishing research constitutes research misconduct in violation of university policy.  For additional information, please refer to the VCR’s Research Integrity page and the University of Illinois Policy on Integrity in Research and Publication, and University of Illinois Chicago Procedures for Adjudicating Allegations of Misconduct in Research and Publication. Any member of the university community who becomes aware of research misconduct in research or publication (the initiator) is obligated to report the incident or practice, and provide all relevant information or evidence, to the executive officer of the unit in which the person alleged to have committed the misconduct (the respondent) holds principal appointment, or to the RIO, each of whom will notify the other promptly.

The Research Integrity Officer, the unit executive officers, the deans, and all other persons involved in administering these procedures make diligent efforts to protect the academic reputations and positions of persons who, in good faith, report suspected research misconduct and of persons against whom allegations are made that are later determined to be unfounded. All of the procedures and the identity of those involved are kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. However, confidentiality need not be maintained if the complaint is maliciously motivated and found to be false. Protection of confidentiality does not preclude disclosures that are necessary in the process of handling allegations of misconduct, in the public interest, or components of sanctions and/or corrective action in the resolution of research misconduct allegations.

It is a prime concern of all persons who implement these procedures to protect the policies of academic freedom and tenure that are fundamental to the academic enterprise. Academic freedom affords no license for research misconduct.