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Responsible Conduct in Research


Responsible Conduct in Research Ahsan Choudhuri, PhD Department of Mechanical Engineering Combustion and Propulsion Research Laboratory Research and Sponsored ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Responsible Conduct in Research

Responsible Conduct in Research
  • Ahsan Choudhuri, PhD
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Combustion and Propulsion Research Laboratory
  • Research and Sponsored Projects 101 Workshops
  • Office of Research and Sponsored Projects
  • September 13, 2007

  • To promote Research Ethics
  • To promote Responsible Conduct in Research
  • To promote Responsible Data Management
  • To provide information about Research Misconduct
  • To provide information about Federal/Agency/Univer
    sity Policies those govern Research Misconduct
  • Case Study

Research Ethics
  • Ethics (derived from the Greek ethos, meaning
    character, custom, or usage), or morality (from
    the Latin synonym meaning manner, custom, or
    habit), is the philosophical study of normative
    behavior, the shoulds and oughts the rights
    and wrongs of our conduct.
  • Research Ethics is a kind of applied or practical
    ethics, meaning that it attempts to resolve not
    merely general issues but also specific problems
    that arise in the conduct of research. Its goal
    is to determine the moral acceptability and
    appropriateness of specific conduct and to
    establish the actions that moral agents ought to
    take in particular situation. Research ethics
    therefore not merely theoretical. It aims to
    establish practical moral norms and standards for
    the conduct of research.
  • Peach, Lucianda (1995) An Introduction to
    Ethical Theory, Research Ethics Cases and
    Materials, Editor Penslar, Robin Levin,
    Bloomington Indianan University Press.

Why do you need ethics in research?
  • Research is a process, using defensible
    methodology that is done on behalf of society, in
    search of knowledge that can be shared and used.
    Research is usually supported through public or
    private funds. Research matters because it is
    judged to be important by knowledgeable peers.
  • Just as researchers have responsibilities to
    their colleagues and to the institution in which
    they work, researchers have responsibilities to
    potential and actual funders, to the audiences
    and publishers to whom they submit their work,
    and to peers.
  • Professor Deni Elliot, University of Montana
    Research Ethics Center

Research Compliance
  • Every institutions and researchers who receive
    federal funds must comply with a set of specific
    rules and standards established by the Federal
  • These rules and standards set the minimum
    acceptable ethical behavior in research
  • UTEPs internal research compliance policy is
    also governed by the federal policy.
  • All research and research related works at UTEP
    require strict adherence to federal and UTEP
    research compliance standards.

Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR)
  • Compliance and Ethics
  • Compliance means the researcher follow the rules
    set out by the federal government, funding
    agencies and the institution.
  • Ethics refers to a responsible behavior towards
    humans, sentient beings, society and ecosystems.
    Ethics means promoting good.
  • Both compliance and ethics are required for the
    Responsible Conduct in Research.
  • Compliance set out the minimum acceptable ethical
    behavior in research.
  • Noncompliance results in Research Misconduct

Federal Research Misconduct Policy
  • Federal Register December 6, 2000 (Volume 65,
    Number 235)
  • Research misconduct means fabrication,
    falsification, or plagiarism in proposing,
    performing, or reviewing research, or in
    reporting research results.
  • Fabrication is making up data or results and
    recording or reporting them.
  • Falsification is 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.
  •  Research misconduct does not include honest
    error or differences of opinion.

RCR Policies for Biomedical and Behavioral
Sciences Office of Research Integrity (ORI)
  • Public Health Service Policies on Research
  • Federal Register May 17, 2005 (Volume 70,
    Number 94)

Special Items The Protection of Human
Subjects The Welfare of Laboratory
Animals Conflicts of Interest Data Management
Faculty/ Researchers Trained in Other Countries
Please Note
  • Some Research Practices which may be acceptable
    in other countries however, may be considered
    Research Misconduct in the United States.
  • Clinical, Biomedical Research, Research Involved
    Human Subjects and animals
  • Data acquisition, presentation, analysis,
    management and retention techniques.
  • Strict adherence to the definition of Plagiarism

For More Information
Office of Inspector General (OIG), National
Science Foundation http// Office
of Research Integrity (ORI), Department of Health
and Human Services http// UTEP
Research Misconduct Policy http//
Responsible Data Management
  • What is Data?
  • Federal Acquisition Regulations 45 CFR 27.401
  • Recorded information regardless of form of the
    media on which it may be recorded. The term
    included technical data and computer software
  • OMB Circular A-110 (2CFR 215)
  • Recorded factual material commonly accepted in
    scientific community as necessary to validate
    research findings

Data Management Issues
  • Ownership, Control, and Access
  • Collection
  • Storage and Retention
  • Sharing and Presentation.
  • 90 of ORI Research Misconduct findings involve
    data falsification and fabrication

Questionable Data Management Practices
  • Poor record keeping of research methods and
    experimental techniques
  • Selective use of data to support hypothesis or to
    increase its significance
  • Suppression of negative data which contradict the
  • Inappropriate image manipulation

Some Recent Famous Research Misconduct Cases
  • Dr. Hwang Woo Suk Korean Stem Cell Research
  • Falsification and Fabrication
  • Dr. Jan Hendrik Schön, Bell Laboratory
  • Falsification and Fabrication
  • Eric T. Poehlman,MD, PhD University of Vermont
    (UVM) College of Medicine in Burlington
  • Falsification, Fabrication, Criminal, Civil and
  • Ali Sultan, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard School of Public
  • Fabrication
  • Dr. Luk Van Parijs, MIT
  • Falsification and Fabrication

Other Research Misconduct Cases
  • Misrepresentation of Publications
  • Plagiarism and Violation of Confidential Peer
  • Proposal seeking funds for already completed
  • Fraudulent Data
  • Misrepresenting Credentials
  • Source NSF OIG Website

Handling Research Misconduct Allegations
Step Time-frame OIG Awardee 1. Receipt 2.
Inquiry 60 days - 90 days 3. Investigation
150 days 180 days 4. Adjudication 45 days
- NSF 5. Appeal 30 days - NSF Case may close
at any step Referral Awardees - 88 of
investigations 66 reports accepted Source NSF
OIG Website Presentation http//
NSF OIG Research Misconduct Investigations
Source NSF OIG Website April 2000 Data
OIG is currently experimenting with the use of
computer software to identify plagiarized text in
NSF proposals. There are a number of free or
commercially available software packages that
have the ability to identify text that is
common to multiple documents. Some software
packages are designed to perform a side-by-side
comparison of two or more documents, while others
compare the text of a document to text found on
websites. We obtained one freeware package and
one commercially available to test their
capabilities. Interns with linguistics training
ran randomly selected proposals through the
software to determine if they contained
plagiarism. The interns analyzed over 600
proposals, and found that approximately 2.5 of
the proposals contained more than de minimus
unattributed copied text from other sources.
Plagiarism rates were relatively uniform across
scientific disciplines, although we noted that
the rate of possible plagiarism in NSF CAREER
proposals was significantly higher at 15.
-NSF IG Semiannual Report March 2006
Agency Actions (SOURCE 67 FR 11937, Mar. 18,
  • Group I actions.
  • (i) Send a letter of reprimand to the individual
    or institution.
  • (ii) Require as a condition of an award that for
    a specified period an individual or institution
    obtain special prior approval of particular
    activities from NSF.
  • (iii) Require for a specified period that an
    institutional official other than those guilty of
    misconduct certify the accuracy of reports
    generated under an award or provide assurance of
    compliance with particular policies,
    regulations, guidelines, or special terms and
  • (2) Group II actions.
  • (i) Totally or partially suspend an active
    award, or restrict for a specified period
    designated activities or expenditures under an
    active award.
  • (ii) Require for a specified period special
    reviews of all requests for funding from an
    affected individual or institution to ensure
    that steps have been taken to prevent repetition
    of the misconduct.
  • (iii) Require a correction to the research
  • (3) Group III actions.
  • (i) Terminate an active award.
  • (ii) Prohibit participation of an individual as
    an NSF reviewer, advisor, or consultant for a
    specified period.
  • (iii) Debar or suspend an individual or
    institution from participation in Federal
    programs for a specified period after further
    proceedings under applicable regulations.
  • (b) In deciding what final actions are
    appropriate when misconduct is found,

University Actions
  • Termination
  • Non-Renewal of Contract
  • Others

Some Recent Famous Research Misconduct Cases
  • Dr. Hwang Woo Suk Korean Stem Cell Research
  • Termination
  • Criminal Charges
  • Dr. Jan Hendrik Schön, Bell Laboratory
  • Termination
  • Revocation of his Doctoral Degree
  • Eric T. Poehlman,MD, PhD University of Vermont
    (UVM) College of Medicine in Burlington
  • Termination
  • Debarment for life
  • Monetary Penalty
  • Jail time
  • Ali Sultan, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard School of Public
  • Termination
  • Debarred for 3 years
  • Dr. Luk Van Parijs, MIT
  • Termination

Other Research Misconduct Cases
  • Misrepresentation of Publications
  • Letter of reprimand, certification for 3 years
  • Letter of reprimand, certification for 3 years by
    the subject, certification by the chair
  • Plagiarism and Violation of Confidential Peer
  • Letter of reprimand, No grant Submission for
    three years
  • Debar for 3 years, Barred from peer review for 2
  • Proposal seeking funds for already completed
  • No Misconduct, Misconduct for Falsifying
  • Letter of Reprimand, 2 years certification by the
    subject and institutional representative
  • Fraudulent Data
  • University rescinded students degree, Letter of
    correction to journal, Notified appropriate
    people (letters of recommendations) or
    organizations (where she taught)
  • University took appropriate action in rescinded
    the Ph.D. and notifying appropriate institutions,
    3-year certification requirement, Assurance by
    supervisor or PI if on an NSF project
  • Misrepresenting Credentials
  • Letter of reprimand, For 1 year, subject
    certifies to OIG that all information in his
    proposals is correct
  • Source NSF OIG Website

Case Study Charlie West Case
  • Issues and Points of Conflict
  • Interested Parties
  • Consequences
  • Obligations

The case study is adopted from Moral Reasoning
in Scientific Research (1995)by Muriel J. Bebeau
and Kenneth Pimple, Poynter Center for the Study
of Ethics and American Institutions , Indiana
University , Bloomington Indiana. Authors allow
use and distributions of the materials for
classroom and educational purposes.
Final Remarks
Responsible Conduct in Research is a Serious
Business Consequences of noncompliance are dire
probably it will ruin your career Please visit
UTEP, OIG, and ORI websites for more
information Grant proposals should be treated as
identical to published pieces
Welcome to UTEP Good Luck