Policy on Academic Integrity in Scholarship and Research [ Faculty ] - 1Q5
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) assumes that a positive climate for the exchange of information among scholars is an important factor in the maintenance of professional standards of competence and responsibility. The encouragement of intellectual honesty at all levels within the academic community is the foundation that fosters such a climate. This document articulates University policy on academic integrity in scholarship and research, and prescribes procedures for impartial investigation and fair mediation of allegations of misconduct.
SIUE is aware that many professional associations have ethical codes or guidelines for the conduct of research: SIUE university personnel are expected to comply with these standards. Violations of these standards are a matter for peer review and censure, and may, in some instances, also become grounds for University disciplinary action.
SIUE recognizes that a variety of informal practices exist within the University for addressing questions and controversies that may arise concerning the conduct of scholarly activities. Any member of the SIUE university community who becomes aware of an apparent instance of breach of professional standards of competence and responsibility relating to research or scholarship has the responsibility to try to resolve this issue, if possible, in consultation with those directly involved. If consultation is inappropriate or unsuccessful, it is incumbent upon the individual to report the circumstances to the unit executive officer such as the head of the department or comparable administrator and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.
PHILOSOPHY OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
The academic community of SIUE espouses appropriate attitudes and preventive procedures for the avoidance of academic misconduct. These include:
- Constant concern by individual scholars and appropriate regard for the extent of personal involvement in work for which individuals accept credit or responsibility.
- Instruction in the practices and standards of professional integrity and quality, including those applicable to specific fields and professions, as a normal component of education and training for research.
- Careful scrutiny of staff and their previous work for scholarly integrity at times of hiring and advancement. Informed review and qualitative evaluation should be a normal incident of research and scholarship and its recognition.
- Wide dissemination within the University of its policies regarding scholarly integrity together with information about consequences of their breach.
- A clear and precise statement by the University of procedures to be followed in case of possible misconduct, including prompt action and appropriate safeguards for both those whose conduct is in question and those who report the questioned conduct. A set of procedures is provided below.
TYPES OF MISCONDUCT
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is dedicated to learning and research, and hence is committed to truth and accuracy. All members of the University community are expected to observe high standards of academic integrity and intellectual honesty in research and scholarship.
SIUE considers academic misconduct to include:
- Fabrication or falsification of data, including intentionally misleading or false reporting of credentials or other academically related information;
- Plagiarism, breach of confidentiality with respect to unpublished material, violation of accepted standards regarding submission and publication of scholarly works, and other misrepresentations of originality;
- Failure to comply with research regulations or requirements, including, but not limited to, those applying to human subjects, laboratory animals, biohazardous agents, and standards of safety.
- Any other conduct which seriously conflicts with accepted ethical standards in research and scholarship.
This policy and the associated procedures apply to all individuals at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville engaged in research, including any person paid by, under the control of, or affiliated with the institution, such as scientists, trainees, technicians and other staff members, students, fellows, guest researchers, or collaborators at SIUE.
The policy, and associated procedures, will normally be followed when an institutional official receives an allegation of possible misconduct in research or scholarship. Particular circumstances in an individual case may dictate variation from the normal procedure deemed in the best interests of SIUE. Any change from normal procedures also must ensure fair treatment to the subject of the inquiry or investigation. The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research should approve any significant variation in advance.
INSTITUTIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS
SIUE will take appropriate administrative actions against individuals when an allegation of misconduct has been substantiated.
If the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs determines that the alleged misconduct is substantiated by the findings, he or she will decide on the appropriate actions to be taken, after consultation with the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. The actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Withdrawal or correction of all pending or published abstracts and papers emanating from the research where scientific misconduct was found.
- Removal of the responsible person from the particular project, letter of reprimand, ineligibility for internal research support for a specified period of time, special monitoring of future work, probation, suspension, salary reduction, or initiation of steps leading to possible rank reduction or termination of employment.
- Restitution of funds as appropriate.
PROCEDURES FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT IN SCHOLARSHIP AND RESEARCH
- Any member of the University community who becomes aware of an apparent instance of breach of professional standards of competence and responsibility relating to research or scholarship has the responsibility to try to resolve the issue, if possible, in consultation with those directly involved. If consultation is inappropriate or unsuccessful, it is incumbent upon the individual to report the circumstances to the unit executive officers (i.e., head of the department or comparable administrator and the school dean) of the unit concerned, or to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.
- The unit executive officers, deans, other administrators involved and the entire academic community, are charged with protecting the academic careers of persons who have in good faith reported possible fraud or misconduct in scholarship or research to the greatest extent possible. Any person who reports academic misconduct is responsible for making allegations in good faith, maintaining confidentiality, and cooperating with an inquiry or investigation.
- If the person whose conduct is in question is a student, the matter should proceed according to the appropriate provisions of applicable University policies and regulations governing student rights and conduct.
- If the person whose conduct is in question is not a student, the unit executive officer shall promptly bring the charges to the attention of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research (henceforth referred to as “dean”). The dean, in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, shall appoint an investigative team consisting of one faculty member or academic professional from the unit in which the person whose conduct is in question holds a primary appointment and one faculty member or academic professional from elsewhere within the university to conduct a preliminary investigation as expeditiously as possible. The dean shall meet with the above review committee upon its appointment to review possible procedures that might be used during the investigation, and further, be available for subsequent consultations on procedures as the inquiry proceeds. At this time, the person whose conduct is in question shall be informed in writing of the appointment of the committee and the nature of the allegations.
- In accordance with Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (42 CFR Part 50), the following timetable will be utilized in conducting an investigation into possible misconduct in research.
- After an allegation is received, an investigative team shall have 60 calendar days to determine if a full investigation is warranted.
- If a full investigation is warranted, the investigation must begin within 30 calendar days after the completion of the initial inquiry report.
- A full investigation must be completed within 120 calendar days.
- After receiving the report from the preliminary investigative team, the dean shall decide, in consultation with the team, whether the matter should be dropped or a full investigation should be instituted. If the decision is made not to pursue the case further, all written records should be sealed and deposited in the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. All records must be kept for ten (10) years. Care should be taken that nothing is entered at this point in the personnel file of the person whose conduct had been in question. Both this person and the one who raised the questions shall be notified in writing of the decision.
- If there is sufficient evidence of a breach of professional standards of competence and responsibility to warrant further investigation, the person whose conduct is in question and any collaborators in the work concerned shall be informed in writing of the substance of the evidence warranting additional investigation and requested to cooperate with the investigators.
- A thorough investigation shall be conducted by a committee of three competent scholars, appointed by the dean in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and consisting of one staff member from the unit in which the person whose conduct is in question holds a primary appointment, one staff member from elsewhere within the University (they may, but need not be, the same persons who conducted the preliminary investigation) and a peer professional from outside the institution. The dean shall meet with the above review committee upon its appointment to review possible procedures that might be used during the investigation, and further, be available for subsequent consultations on procedures as the inquiry proceeds. The person whose conduct is under scrutiny shall be informed in writing of the composition of the committee, and shall be invited to provide the committee with pertinent information.
- The investigative committee shall, before making its report, provide the person whose conduct is being investigated with the opportunity to meet and discuss the case with them, with or without legal counsel. The committee shall then report to the dean. If the committee concludes that no breach of professional standards of competence and responsibility has occurred, the case shall be considered closed. If so, all written records shall be disposed of as specified in paragraph 4 of the procedures, and those involved in the case notified in writing of the disposition.
- All stages of the investigation up to this point should be treated as entirely confidential. Disclosure of information to anyone except those who are directly involved in an investigation will be regarded as a breach of professional standards of competence and responsibility.
- If the committee finds that there has been a breach of professional standards of competence and responsibility, based on substantial evidence, then the dean shall report the findings to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for such further action as is warranted under the applicable University policies. At this time the dean will inform such additional individuals as is appropriate in the circumstances. Funding agencies shall be informed in accordance with applicable laws and contractual agreements.
- Nothing in this policy should be construed or implemented in a manner which conflicts with contractual or statutory obligations of the University governing possible misconduct under funded research for externally funded research projects. In cases involving scientific misconduct in research that are supported through federal funding, the relevant agency’s policies and procedures relating to research misconduct will supercede those of the University to the extent permitted by state law.
- All records involving an investigation under this policy must be maintained for ten (10) years.
Approved by Chancellor effective 8/7/06
This policy was issued on January 8, 2007, replacing the April 4, 2000 version.
Document Reference: 1Q5
Origin: GR 1-87/88; OP 12/13/88; OP 8/2/95; GR 1-05/06