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Research Integrity

Major Misconduct Offenses

  • Fabrication of data
  • Plagiarism
  • Abuse of confidentiality
  • Falsification in research
  • Dishonesty in publication
  • Deliberate violation of federal, state, university regulations
  • Property violations
  • Failure to report observed major offenses
  • Retaliation

For definitions, see the Integrity in Scholarship policy (SPG 303.03)

Federal Requirements

Federal agencies (e.g., Public Health Service) have published research integrity and/or misconduct regulations that define research misconduct, prescribe time limits for inquiry and investigation, and require reporting to the agencies under certain conditions and process stages.

  1. The Vice President for Research and the General Counsel determine the applicability of external regulations in each misconduct case.  The university will comply with the federal regulations.
  2. At any stage within the procedure, the university may take interim administrative action (see SPG 303.03) to protect federal funds.

Conducting research responsibly and the resolution of academic and research misconduct are key components of U-M’s research ethics and compliance programs.

The University of Michigan's Integrity in Scholarship policy outlines the ethical expectations and responsibilities of its academic community and defines misconduct offenses.  The full policy with detailed procedures for investigating allegations of scholarship and research misconduct are located in the Standard Practice Guide (SPG) 303.03.

Integrity in Scholarship Overview

Value Statement

Integrity in scholarship and teaching is a fundamental value upon which the University is founded.  Without integrity, we could not justify the privilege of academic freedom intrinsic to scholarship and education, nor could we provide to society the advancements of knowledge that derive from free and open inquiry.

Responsibility of the Academic Community

It is a fundamental responsibility of U-M faculty, staff, students, and administration to maintain the trust of the public in all research and scholarly activity and to preserve the university's reputation for high standards of scholarly integrity.  It is our shared responsibility to:

  • Report suspected academic and research misconduct
  • Assure that academic and research misconduct is dealt with in a timely and effective manner

Misconduct Investigation Overview

Allegations of misconduct are reported confidentially to the applicable department head (e.g., dean, director, or chancellor), the Office of General Counsel, and the Research Integrity Officer in the Office of the Vice President for Research.  U-M's detailed misconduct procedures safeguard the rights of the accused and the accuser (if one exists) while recognizing the university community's interest in academic integrity. The procedures cover five main steps:

  1. Initial inquiry to determine if a misconduct investigation is warranted
  2. Written report on initial inquiry findings 
  3. Investigation to collect and thoroughly examine evidence, when the initial finding is misconduct
  4. Written report on investigation findings
  5. Resolution and outcome

If a misconduct determination is made, the resolution and outcome depend on the kind of appointment the accused holds and on the seriousness of the sanction recommend.

References and Resources

Guidance & Resources


Michael J. Imperiale
U-M Research Integrity Officer