What is Research Integrity?

ODU expects everyone involved in research will promote research integrity in fulfilling their research mission.

Research integrity includes: the use of honest and verifiable methods in proposing, performing, and evaluating research, reporting research results with particular attention to adherence to rules, regulations, guidelines, and  following commonly accepted professional codes or norms. Shared values in scientific research include: honesty, accuracy, efficiency and objectivity (NIH Research Integrity).

Scientific misconduct is the fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. Scientific misconduct does not include honest error or differences in the interpretation of data, personal disputes, disagreement over authorship order or arguments about ownership of data.

Definitions (CITI RCR-Basic)

  • “Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them” (OSTP 2000, 76260-4). Fabrication often involves creating fake data to fit a hypothesis. Fabrication could include creating fictional tables, graphs, or figures that are placed in manuscripts, grant applications, or poster presentations.
  • “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” (OSTP 2000, 76260-4). Falsification includes inappropriately manipulating existing results to fit a preferred hypothesis or altering data to make them appear more convincing than they actually are. Falsification can take many forms. For example, it can occur in figures, graphs, and digital images.
  • “Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit” (OSTP 2000, 76260-4). Plagiarism can appear in a journal article, a conference paper, or many other venues; it occurs when someone else’s words or ideas are used, such as in a results or discussion section, without giving proper credit or attribution to the original author.
  • Behaviors that closely border on research misconduct but do not fall under its strict definition are often referred to as detrimental or questionable research practices (DRPs or QRPs)
ODU Policy on Misconduct in Scientific Research and Scholarly Activity

Policy, Procedures and Timeline for Responding to Allegations of Misconduct in Scientific Research and Scholarly Activity