Research misconduct erodes public trust in science, which in turn impacts support for the overall research endeavor at an immeasurable cost to society, the university, and your team. Therefore, everyone affiliated with OSU has a responsibility to act when they suspect that research misconduct may have occurred.

email questions or concerns to the Research Integrity Officer or call (541) 737-9502

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 in opinion, differences in interpreting data, misinterpreting results, or authorship disputes (unless they involve plagiarism).

The Research Office will respond to alleged or apparent research misconduct through three formal stages: Assessment, Inquiry, and Investigation.  Details of these stages can be found in the Research Misconduct policy, which outlines an approach that balances the interests of all parties, including those of the general scientific community.

While not strictly meeting the definition of research misconduct, there are practices that should be diligently avoided. Examples of such practices include*:

  • Detrimental authorship practices that may not be considered misconduct, such as honorary authorship, demanding authorship in return for access to previously collected data or materials, or denying authorship to those who deserve to be designated as authors;
  • Not retaining or making data, code, or other information/materials underlying research results available as specified in institutional or sponsor policies, or standard practices in the field;
  • Neglectful or exploitative supervisors in research;
  • Misleading statistical analysis that falls short of falsification;
  • Inadequate institutional policies, procedures, or capacity to foster research integrity and address research misconduct allegations, and deficient implementation of policies and procedures; and
  • Abusive or irresponsible publication practices by journal editors and peer reviewers

*From the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Fostering Integrity in Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

If you would like to make an anonymous report related to any violation of ethical standards or institutional policies, we encourage you to use the Accountability & Integrity Hotline: EthicsPoint