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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Research Knowledge Base

Misconduct in Scholarly Research

The Misconduct in Scholarly Research policy (Faculty Policy II-314) applies to anyone who, at the time of the alleged research misconduct, was employed by, was an agent of, or was affiliated by contract or agreement with the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This includes faculty, staff, employees in training, students, contractors, volunteers and guests.

Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. The activity must represent a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community.

  1. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  2. 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.
  3. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or work without giving appropriate credit.

Research misconduct does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data. The action must be committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.

Research misconduct does not encompass authorship or collaboration disputes, nor does this policy supersede or establish an alternative to existing University, state or federal regulations or procedures for handling other transgressions, such as financial improprieties, non-compliance in safety practices or the treatment of human or animal subjects, criminal matters, or personnel actions.

This policy applies only to allegations of research misconduct that occurred within six years prior to the date the institution received the allegation, subject to the subsequent use, health or safety of the public, and grandfathered exceptions in federal policy (e.g., 42 CFR § 93.105(b)).

To the extent practicable or reasonable, proceedings of a nature different than research misconduct (e.g., academic misconduct, criminal investigation, financial audit or personnel investigation) may proceed simultaneously with research misconduct proceedings provided for in this policy. The Research Integrity Officer (RIO, see Section II.C) is responsible for coordinating with other principals for determining how the multiple processes will be coordinated on a case-by-case basis. (Faculty Policy II-314).

Contact the designated Research Integrity Officer (RIO) for UW–Madison at 608-262-1044 or email for matters regarding Research Misconduct.

Procedures for Dealing with Misconduct in Scholarly Research

Obligations and Protections for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Research Associates in Reporting Wrong Doing, Non-Compliance or Research Misconduct

Keywords: misconduct research integrity scholarly officer ri fabrication falsification plagiarism