As an institution dedicated to excellence in education, research and outreach, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences places a high value on research integrity and academic freedom. Objectivity in the conduct of research, the freedom to disseminate ideas through publication of research results, the protection of the rights and interests of research participants, maintenance of public trust, and the ability to ensure that our responsibility to our students and trainees is not compromised are critical to these institutional values.
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences takes concerns about research misconduct seriously. Information about the process of reporting potential research misconduct can be found using the information below.
How do I report?
If you suspect someone is engaged in research misconduct, please report it to one of the following:
OSU CHS's Research Integrity Officer (RIO), Amber Hood, MS, CPIA, CIP firstname.lastname@example.org | 918-561-1413
Oklahoma State University's anonymous reporting system by phone at 1.866.294.8692 or online at https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/default_reporter.asp
- What is Research Misconduct?
Research Misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Research Misconduct does not include honest errors, differences of opinion or authorship disputes.
- 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 such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record
- Plagiarism – appropriating another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit
- What is the University policy for Research Misconduct
What is the department's responsibility and involvement in tracking RCR training?
- The department office will maintain documentation certifying the individual’s successful completion of the RCR course.
- All graduate students should have enrollment holds placed upon them. An advisor may remove the hold upon documented proof of the student having completing the RCR course being placed in the student’s departmental file.
- Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows/associates who are supported by external grant funds must successfully complete the RCR courses within 2 calendar months following the effective date of an Employment Action (EA) form. Those who have not will have their employment terminated at the end of the two-calendar-month period. Reinstatement of employment is strictly conditional on satisfactory completion of the course.
- What is the requirement for “Responsible Conduct in Research” (RCR) training?
Who Condition Timeframe to successfully complete RCR course and provide documentation to department office All degree-seeking students (undergraduate and graduate)
Funded/employed by an external grant requiring RCR training OR
Within 2 calendar months following the effetive date of an Employment Action (EA) form
Enrolled in a course for which research is and integral element, ee.g., honors thesis master's thesis (5000), doctoral dissertation (6000) OR
Within 2 calendar months of the course start date
Conducting activities identified by his/her advisor as involving research
Within 2 calendar months following the activity commencing
Graduate students1 All degree-seeking graduate students Prior to the end of the seconnd semester of enrollment Postdoctoral fellows/associates2 Within 2 calendar months following the effective date of an Employment Action (EA) form
1For graduate students, the Plan of Study form includes a section to verify compliance with the university requirement for training in RCR. Advanced degree students will, in many cases, be required to complete additional, more discipline-specific, RCR training. The scope and extent of the additional required RCR training are at the discretion of the department.
2Postdoctoral fellows/associates will, in many cases, be required to complete additional, more discipline-specific, RCR training. The scope and extent of the additional required RCR training are at the discretion of the department.
Where do I find the RCR training?
Responsible Conduct of Research Web-based Training Course
Other Training Opportunities (optional)
- The Lab: Avoiding Research Misconduct
This is an interactive movie on research misconduct that allows the viewer to act in the role of a grad student, a post-doc, a principal investigator, and a research integrity officer while making decisions pertaining to research integrity.
- Office of Research Integrity
This is the ORI site for a wide variety of training resources and other valuable related information.
- Online Ethics Center for Science and Engineering
This website offers ethics training for all disciplines, and has a wide variety of other excellent resources.
- Ethics of Scientific Research: A Guidebook for Course Development
The 75-page PDF (Adobe Acrobat) book by Judy Stern and Deni Elliott is a well written monograph that helps students develop the tools to see ethical problems from a new vantage point.
- The Lab: Avoiding Research Misconduct
- What tools are available to prevent plagiarism?
University Research Compliance recommends the use of iThenticate [use your OKEY credentials], which is used by the federal funding agencies to check for plagiarism and missed citations. iThenticate helps writers avoid plagiarism by comparing draft manuscripts with its database of scholarly publications and web pages.
What is the process after I report an allegation of research misconduct?
There are three stages that could occur after an allegation is reported:
- Preliminary Assessment – This is the initial review of the allegation to determine whether an inquiry is warranted. An inquiry is warranted if the allegation matches the definition of research misconduct and is sufficiently credible and specific for potential evidence of research misconduct to be identified.
- Inquiry– This is an initial review of the evidence to determine whether there is sufficient substance to warrant a formal investigation. An investigation is warranted if there is a reasonable basis for concluding that an allegation matches the definition of research misconduct, and preliminary information-gathering and preliminary fact-finding indicate that the allegation may have substance.
- Investigation– This is the formal review of the allegation to determine whether research misconduct has been committed. It is performed by members of an ad hoc investigation committee who have sufficient expertise in the subject matter under investigation.
OSU is obligated to investigate good faith Research Misconduct allegations and follow due process for respondents and complainants. The University considers respondents to be innocent of misconduct until the final determination is made.
Will there be any repercussions to me if I report research misconduct?
To protect those reporting a potential research misconduct violation, university policy prohibits retaliation against persons who, acting in good faith, provide information concerning alleged misconduct. Confidentiality is maintained throughout the investigation of the alleged research misconduct to the greatest extent possible and consistent with federal and state laws.
If you are unsure whether a particular incident or practice constitutes research misconduct or a regulation/policy violation, you can contact the RIO to discuss the matter.