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Allegations of Research Misconduct

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Some links will work for NIAID staff only.

Standard Operating Procedure Table of Contents

Purpose

To address allegations of research misconduct in government-funded research, regardless of whether the funds resulted in a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or other form of NIH support.

Procedure

Research misconduct is fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing, or reporting research.

  • Fabrication means making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  • Falsification means 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.
  • Plagiarism means appropriating another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

HHS's Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has sole authority over investigations of research misconduct and will coordinate a response.

Go to NIH's Research Integrity site for more information on grantee, contractor, trainee, and investigator responsibilities, as well as details on NIH's role in handling research misconduct. 

Everybody

  • Immediately notify NIAID's research integrity officer (RIO) of any allegation of research misconduct.
  • If you do not receive a response within three business days, email NIH's extramural research integrity officer (ERIO) at NIHResearchIntegrity@mail.nih.gov.

NIAID Staff

  • If you have any reason to suspect research misconduct, or you receive a report or allegation of research misconduct, follow the instructions above.
  • Advise anybody with an allegation to also contact NIAID's RIO.
  • Treat any information you receive about such allegations as strictly confidential.  Discuss with only the RIO.
  • Do not take any of the following actions:
    • Divulge any other information.
    • Express personal opinions.
    • Attempt to investigate the allegation. Investigations fall within the exclusive purview of ORI. 
    • Request supporting documentation.
    • Contact a principal investigator, contractor, scientific review officer, or reviewer.
  • If contacted by the news media, Congressional representatives, other official sources within NIH or outside of NIH, or any other outside source such as the public, inform them of the following:
    • NIAID staff cannot acknowledge or deny an allegation.
    • Only ORI has authority over investigations.
    • They can get more information at NIH’s Research Integrity site.
    • If they wish to persist in their inquiry, they should contact NIAID's RIO.
  • Grants management specialists can also read GMP's Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Office of Research Intergrity (ORI)—Misconduct in Science SOP.

NIAID Research Integrity Officer (RIO)

  • Send allegations to the ERIO using the Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Research Misconduct SharePoint System. ERIO works with ORI and other HHS staff to determine a response.
  • Ensure that NIAID enforces administrative actions, if any. 
  • Represent NIAID on matters of research integrity policy through membership on the NIH Research Integrity Group.
  • Inform the director of NIAID's Office of Science Management and Operations of all investigations.

Contacts

NIAID's Research Integrity Officer (RIO)—Matthew Fenton

NIH's Extramural Research Integrity Officer (ERIO)—NIHResearchIntegrity@mail.nih.gov.

Director, Office of Science Management and Operations—John McGowan

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email deaweb@niaid.nih.gov with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.

Links

42 CFR 93—Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct

Bars to Grant Awards—Research Misconduct SOP

HHS Office of Research Integrity

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.NIAID Extramural Staff Training on Misconduct

Reporting Fraud, Waste, and Abuse SOP

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Research Misconduct on NIH's extramural intranet

Last Updated February 22, 2013

Last Reviewed February 22, 2013