Scientific Misconduct Policy

All inquiries regarding either the policy or the process for filing allegations of research misconduct may be directed to:
Location: SUNY Upstate Medical University, Rm. 1109, Weiskotten Hall, Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone: 315 464-4317

Like all universities receiving funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Upstate Medical University has polices and procedures for handling allegations of scientific misconduct.

The procedures are very tightly proscribed by the HHS Office of Research Integrity and must be adhered to in the event that allegations of misconduct are made.

Download: Research Misconduct Policy  PDF document  

Scientific misconduct is defined as: fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

We all have a responsibility to report scientific misconduct—all employees or individuals associated with Upstate should report observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct in science to the Research Integrity Officer (the Vice President for Research). Alternatively, the individual may contact the Department Chairperson, the Dean of the College, or the Associate Vice President for Research, who must ultimately refer the allegations to the Research Integrity Officer.

If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of scientific misconduct, he or she may contact the Research Integrity Officer or the Associate Vice President for Research to discuss the suspected misconduct informally. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of scientific misconduct, the Research Integrity Officer may refer the individual or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving the problem.

At any time, an employee may have confidential discussions and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the Research Integrity Officer, Department Chairperson, Dean of the College, or Associate Vice President for Research and will be counseled about appropriate procedures for reporting allegations.

Although Upstate’s policies and procedures are directed at research supported by the US Public Health Service (PHS), Upstate considers the values embodied in these Guidelines as central to the ethical conduct of research and, therefore, will apply them to all allegations of scientific misconduct regardless of the source of funds for the research.

The institution has an obligation to bring all inquiries and investigations into allegations of misconduct to a full conclusion and to insure due process and fair treatment of the accused. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible, without compromising public health and safety or impeding the inquiry or investigation. According to the guidelines the results of all inquiries and investigations must be reported to ORI.

The Research Integrity Officer will monitor the treatment of individuals who bring allegations of misconduct (“whistleblowers”) and those who cooperate in inquiries or investigations to ensure that they are not retaliated against in the terms and conditions of their employment or other status at the institution. Instances of alleged retaliation will be reviewed for appropriate action.

This policy is reaffirmed annually with the Office of Research Integrity.