Definition of Research Misconduct

Research Misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

(a) Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.

(b) 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.

(c) Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

Some improper practices are not considered Research Misconduct but are nonetheless considered misconduct under other University policies. These other policies include, but are not limited to, guidelines relating to conflict of interest, intellectual property, biosafety, use of animal and human subjects, use of University facilities, outside professional activities of faculty members, teacher-student relations and academic-staff relations. Disputes about the conduct in research not involving Research Misconduct or other misconduct should be resolved within the appropriate research group, division, or department. Such disputes might relate to authorship, attribution of credit, confidentiality, access or interpretations of data, simple negligence, differences of opinion, or honest error.

Policy and Procedures

Any individual affiliated with UCSB has an ethical obligation to act if he or she suspects Research Misconduct has occurred. Appropriate actions may include raising questions, seeking perspective from peers or more experienced individuals, or making a written or oral allegation of Research Misconduct.

Suspected Research Misconduct may be reported first to a Department Head, but can also be directed to the campus Research Integrity Officer, Vice Chancellor for Research Joe Incandela. Reports from outside the University should be directed to the Research Integrity Officer. It is the policy of UCSB to respond fully and fairly to all allegations of Research Misconduct and to comply with the reporting requirements of applicable funding agencies. Please see the Research Misconduct Policy and Procedures for complete information about how allegations are managed on campus.


NIH Office of Research Integrity