“Public trust in the integrity and ethical behavior of scholars must be maintained if research is to continue to play its proper role in our University and society. It is the policy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (hereinafter “University”) that its research be carried out with the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior.” UNC-CH Policy and Procedures on Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct.
It is the responsibility of all members of the research community (faculty, students, trainees, postdocs, visiting scholars, technicians and others conducting research at the University) to demonstrate research integrity. The University’s policy applies to all research regardless of funding. When research is supported by the Public Health Service (PHS), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE) and other Federal Agencies the University complies with special reporting requirements found in PHS Policies on Research Misconduct – 42 CFR Part 93 and NSF regulations at 45 CFR 689. The University Policy defines research misconduct as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results:
- Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
- 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.
- Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
- Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
The University Policy requires anyone having reason to believe that a member of research community as defined above has engaged in research misconduct to report his/her concern for possible research misconduct to the department head (chair) or directly to the Research Integrity Officer (RIO). Research misconduct reviews are confidential personnel matters. While scientific misconduct is often assumed to be a deliberate act, it can happen unintentionally through the failure to conduct research pursuant to the requirement of federal and state laws and regulations. Sometimes the allegation(s) do not meet the definition of research misconduct and may be referred to other University officials.