About Research Misconduct

About Research Misconduct

The ethical conduct and reporting of research is a vital component for the public trust in and funding of academic research. Misconduct in research harms the individuals involved but also threatens the integrity of the department, college, university, and broader scientific community. University policies and procedures encompass the definition of what constitutes misconduct, the process of investigating misconduct and consequences of research misconduct.

Research Misconduct is fabrication, falsification of data and/or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research, or in reporting research results; however, it does NOT include honest errors, differences in opinion or authorship disputes.

  • Fabrication is defined as making-up data or results or recording or reporting made-up data or results.
  • Falsification is the act of 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 is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

*Please note, since research misconduct does NOT include honest errors, differences in opinion or authorship disputes, these are generally referred to the Department Chair/Administrator for resolution.

UNL’s Research Misconduct policy covers all institutional members, regardless of funding, defined as any person who is employed by, is an agent of, or is affiliated by contract or agreement with UNL.

Institutional members could include, but are not limited to:

  • Officials
  • Faculty
  • Teaching staff
  • Support staff
  • Researchers
  • Research coordinators
  • Clinical technicians
  • Postdoctoral and other fellows
  • Students
  • Volunteers
  • Agents
  • Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Sub-awardees and their employees

Research Compliance Services and the Office of Research & Economic Development treat all research misconduct allegations seriously and confidentially. All institutional members are obligated to promptly report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to the Research Integrity Officer (RIO). If you would like to discuss or report a situation in which research misconduct has occurred please contact either the RIO or the Research Compliance Services Director.