The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is committed to the ethical conduct of research. Anyone internal or external to the University who knows of or suspects research is not being conducted in accordance with federal, state, or university requirements should contact Research Compliance Services by phone (402-472-6965) or email, or through the UNL Compliance Hotline as described below.
The purpose of the UNL Compliance Hotline (1-844-348-9584 or www.nebraska.ethicspoint.com) is to provide an additional communication channel for reporting activity or conduct that may violate University of Nebraska or UNL policies and procedures, and/or federal, state or local laws and regulations. Concerns received through the compliance hotline will be investigated and appropriate follow-up actions taken. Examples of such concerns might include:
- Violations of human subjects research protections
- Compliance concerns with the use of animals
- Research or scholarly misconduct
- Breaches of physical or electronic research information
- Conflicts of interest or commitment
- Concerns with export controlled research
Internal Reporting Concerns
Faculty, staff, or students who have compliance-related questions or concerns are encouraged to share them as soon as possible so an appropriate action may be taken. Multiple communication channels are available for asking questions and reporting concerns. Whenever possible, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to obtain guidance or share concerns with their supervisors first. However, they may use any of the following communication channels:
- Discuss the issue with supervisory personnel or a faculty advisor
- Contact the department that has subject matter expertise in the area of concern
- Contact the Human Resources Department for human resources issues
- Contact Research Compliance Services at 402-472-6965
- Contact the Institutional Animal Care Program (IACP) for research using animals at 402-472-4486
- Call the UNL Compliance Hotline or visit the website to report via an online format
- Call the State of Nebraska Ombudsman’s office at 1-800-742-7690
- Contact the UNL Research Integrity Officer regarding allegations of research misconduct
The Compliance Hotline is operated by a third-party organization hired to collect and document information provided by the caller or via an online web form. It operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
For those using the online reporting form (www.nebraska.ethicspoint.com):
- The campus where the possible violation took place must be selected first.
- The location of the possible violation must also be selected (City Campus, East Campus, or Other)
- These selections will then take the user to an Ethics Point webpage which provides a list of several possible violation areas that the user may choose from in order to make a report
- The user can choose to remain anonymous
For those calling into the reporting number (1-844-348-9584):
- A pre-recorded message will precede the operator answering the call to inform the caller that: (1) calls are not recorded and no attempt is made to identify caller number or location; (2) UNL’s policy prohibits retribution or retaliation for providing information; and (3) the caller may remain anonymous if desired.
- The hotline operator will: greet the caller and thank him/her for calling; ask if the caller understood the message, answer any questions the caller may have; and reinforce that the caller does not need to identify him/herself. The operator will ask questions based on the nature of each call to elicit the most complete information about each issue as possible, schedule any follow-up phone calls which may need to occur, notify the caller that the status of actions taken may not be available to the caller, invite him/her to phone the hotline if he/she believes the problem has not been addressed or wishes to further discuss the situation, and thank him/her for calling.
- The hotline company will generate and provide a report to those with designated responsibility, depending on the type of complaint.
Whether utilizing the online reporting format or calling into the hotline, users are strongly encouraged to provide as much detail as possible so that responsible parties are better able to investigate the concerns.
Confidentiality/Good Faith Reporting
UNL shall attempt to maintain the confidentiality of an individual who reports concerns or misconduct upon request. However, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, and disclosure of the individual’s identity may be necessary in order to fully investigate the concern. There is no retribution or discipline for anyone who reports a concern in good faith. Individuals shall not intentionally use the hotline to make false allegations.
Compliance with Standards
All UNL faculty, staff and students are expected to understand and follow regulations and policies applicable to their responsibilities. They are encouraged to report compliance concerns to maintain the integrity of the research at UNL.