Research Integrity and Assurance

Research Misconduct

Research misconduct

As an institution devoted to the creation of new knowledge through research and scholarship, Arizona State University (ASU) is committed to maintaining the integrity fundamental to these activities through the responsible and ethical conduct of its faculty, staff and students. Research Misconduct includes:

  • 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 you are not accurately representing the research in the research record

  • plagiarism - the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit

  • improper practices -  serious deviations from accepted standards in proposing, conducting or reporting research

Research misconduct does not include differences of opinion or honest errors. ASU has established procedures for dealing with misconduct. For a description of the procedures, see ASU Procedures for Misconduct in Research.  

Consequences of misconduct

Consequences of misconduct can be considerable and may be professionally disastrous. Outcomes vary depending on the specifics of the charges and the severity of findings. Consequences may include erosion of trust between researchers and funding agencies and, more importantly, it can cause the public to lose trust in the integrity of the researcher and research outcomes. Penalties may include:

  • correction or retraction of published articles

  • imposition of supervision or mentorship

  • loss of eligibility to receive federal funding

  • suspension or termination of current awards

  • reassignment or loss of employment

Reporting research misconduct

To report alleged research misconduct, contact us or the ASU Hotline for Ethics and Compliance (1-877-786-3385).

Other misconduct

Some improper behaviors do not fall within the definition of research misconduct, but may be considered misconduct per other university policies. As examples, misconduct related to teaching or service missions of the university, or disputes about the conduct of research that do not fall within the definition misconduct (such as authorship disputes, attribution of credit, confidentiality, access to or interpretations of data, or simple negligence) are handled by the Office of the Executive Vice President and University Provost or the appropriate academic unit. Allegations of misappropriation or other financial irregularities are handled by the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development (OKED) under applicable policies in the Academic Affairs Manual (ACD) and/or the Financial Services Manual (FIN) and state or federal law.

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