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Policy Statement

The University, its employees, and its students often benefit from participation in research activities. The University does not wish to interfere with employees' or students' legitimate research interests and academic freedom.  Employees and students, in turn, must ensure that their research activities are conducted in a responsible and ethical manner.

This policy sets forth procedures and guidelines that are to be followed in the reporting and investigation of alleged research misconduct.  It is applicable to all employees, officers, agents, and students of Marywood University. It meets the institution's responsibilities under the Public Health Service (PHS) Policies on Research Misconduct, 42 CFR Part 93.  However, it applies to all funded research projects regardless of funding source.


Deciding Official (DO) - the institutional official who makes final determinations on allegations of research misconduct and any institutional administrative actions to be taken in response. The Deciding Official will not be the same individual as the Research Integrity Officer, and should have no direct prior involvement in the institution's inquiry, investigation, or allegation assessment procedures.  A DO's appointment of an individual to assess allegations of research misconduct, or to serve on an inquiry or investigation committee, is not considered to be direct prior involvement. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is the DO for Marywood University.

Research Integrity Officer
(RIO) - the institutional official responsible for

  • assessing allegations of research misconduct to determine if they fall within the definition of research misconduct, are covered by 42 CFR Part 93, and warrant an inquiry on the basis that they are sufficiently credible and specific so that potential evidence of research misconduct may be identified;
  • overseeing inquiries and investigations;
  • the other responsibilities described in this policy.

The Assistant Vice President for Research is the RIO for Marywood University.

 Research misconduct is fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism that is committed while proposing, performing or reviewing research or while reporting results.  Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

  • Fabrication - making up data or results and recording or reporting them
  • Falsification - manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results in such a way that, as a result, the research is not accurately represented in the research record
  • Plagiarism - appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.


1. Upon receipt of an allegation of research misconduct, the Research Integrity Officer will

  • conduct an investigation;
  • take other appropriate action.

2. The Research Integrity Officer will report the results of investigations conducted or overseen to the Deciding Official for a determination of appropriate actions which may include

  • appropriate steps to correct the research record;
  • verbal and or written reprimand;
  • imposition of procedures to ensure compliance with appropriate standards;
  • suspension or termination of employment;
  • reporting of results to the federal agency responsible for oversight;
  • referral to law enforcement when criminal activity is involved.

3. Marywood University employees who are subjects of allegations will receive appropriate protections including

  • review of allegations by objective individuals with appropriate expertise;
  • timely investigation, adjudication, and appeal;
  • confidentiality to the extent possible and consistent with a fair and thorough investigation;
  • reasonable and practical efforts to protect or restore the reputation of persons alleged to have engaged in research misconduct but against whom no finding of research misconduct is made.

Marywood University employees may not retaliate in any way against complainants or witnesses. Individuals should immediately report any alleged or apparent retaliation to the Research Integrity Officer, who will review the matter and take appropriate action.

See also Office of Research and Sponsored Programs website

Related Policies

Related Committees

Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Participants


02/19/10 - Approved by the President of the University as recommended by the Policy Committee of the University