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Policy on Academic Integrity in Scholarship and Research - 1Q5

INTRODUCTION

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 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 community who becomes aware of an apparent instance of breach of professional standards of competence and responsibility relating to research or scholarship should try to resolve this issue, if possible, in consultation with those directly involved.

PHILOSOPHY OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

The academic community of SIUE espouses appropriate attitudes and preventive procedures for the avoidance of academic misconduct. These include:

  1. constant concern by individual scholars and appropriate regard for the extent of personal involvement in work for which individuals accept credit or responsibility

  2. 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

  3. careful scrutiny of staff and their previous work for scholarly integrity at times of hiring and advancement

  4. wide dissemination within the University of its policies regarding scholarly integrity together with information about consequences of their breach

  5. 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

SIUE 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:

  1. fabrication or falsification of data, including intentionally misleading or false reporting of credentials or other academically related information

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. any other conduct which seriously conflicts with accepted ethical standards in research and scholarship

SCOPE

This policy and the associated procedures apply to all individuals at SIUE 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 Associate Provost for Research (henceforth referred to as APR) 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 APR. 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 academic 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

All references to "working day" in this policy mean any weekday (Monday through Friday) when the University is officially open and conducting business.

  1. 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 should 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/college dean) of the unit concerned, or to the APR.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. If the person whose conduct is in question is not a student, the unit executive officer shall bring the charges in writing to the attention of the APR within 5 working days of receipt of the charge.

  5. The APR in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall appoint a preliminary investigative team within 5 working days of receiving an allegation in writing. This investigative team shall consist of (1) one faculty member or academic professional from the unit in which the person whose conduct is in question holds a primary appointment and (2) one faculty member or academic professional from elsewhere within the University. The team will conduct the preliminary investigation.

    1. The APR shall meet with the committee within 5 working days of its appointment to review possible procedures that might be used during the investigation. The APR will be available for subsequent consultations on procedures as the inquiry proceeds.

    2. Within 5 working days of the meeting between the APR and the team, the person whose conduct is in question shall be informed in writing of the appointment of the committee and the nature of the allegations.

    3. Upon receiving notice of the committee members, if the individual being investigated has an objection regarding a particular member of the committee, such objection must be presented to the APR in writing within 5 working days. The APR will make a determination regarding the objection within 5 working days of receiving the objection, and if a conflict of interest or other appropriate reason is present, the APR will replace such committee member and notify all parties involved within 5 working days of the decision.

    4. The team shall have 60 calendar days after the meeting with the APR or after final appointment of the committee, whichever is later, to submit to the APR a preliminary inquiry report.

    5. In conducting the investigation, the team shall be empowered to gather and consider relevant information. Evidence, testimony, and materials acquired by the team through the course of their investigation shall be kept confidential.

  6. Within 5 working days of receiving the report from the preliminary investigative team, the APR 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 shall 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 within 5 working days of the decision being made.

  7. 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 within 5 working days of the decision being made of the substance of the evidence warranting additional investigation and shall be requested to cooperate with the investigators.

  8. The APR in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall appoint a three-person review committee within 20 working days of the decision being made to investigate further. The review committee shall consist of (1) one faculty member or academic professional from the unit in which the person whose conduct is in question holds a primary appointment, (2) one faculty member or academic professional from elsewhere within the University (They may, but need not be, the same persons who conducted the preliminary investigation.), and (3) a peer professional from outside the institution.
    1. The APR shall meet with the review committee within 5 working days of its appointment to review possible procedures that might be used during the investigation. The APR shall be available for subsequent consultations on procedures as the inquiry proceeds.

    2. Within 5 working days of the meeting between the APR and the team, 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.

    3. Upon receiving notice of the committee members, if the individual being investigated has an objection regarding a particular member of the committee, such objection must be presented to the APR in writing within 5 working days. The APR will make a determination regarding the objection within 5 working days of receiving the objection, and if a conflict of interest or other appropriate reason is present, the APR will replace such committee member and notify all parties involved within 5 working days of the decision.

    4. The team shall have up to 90 calendar days after the meeting with the APR or after final appointment of the committee, whichever is later, to submit to the APR a report. The review 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.

    5. In conducting the investigation, the team shall be empowered to gather and consider relevant and appropriately comprehensive information. Evidence, testimony, and materials acquired by the team through the course of their investigation shall be kept confidential.

  9. Within 5 working days of receiving the report from the review committee, the APR shall decide, in consultation with the team, whether or not a breach of professional standards of competence and responsibility has occurred. If no breach has occurred, the case shall be considered closed, and all written records shall 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 within 5 working days of the decision being made.

  10. 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.

  11. If the APR in consultation with the review committee finds that there has been a breach of professional standards of competence and responsibility based on substantial evidence, then the APR shall report the findings within 5 working days of the decision being made 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 APR will inform such additional individuals as is appropriate in the circumstances. Funding agencies shall be informed in accordance with applicable laws and contractual agreements.

  12. Nothing in this policy should be construed or implemented in a manner that conflicts with contractual or statutory obligations of the University governing possible misconduct under funded research for externally funded projects. In cases involving scientific misconduct in research that are supported through federal funding, the person will also be held accountable to the relevant agency's policies and procedures relating to research misconduct.

  13. All records involving an investigation under this policy must be maintained for ten (10) years.

  14. Substantial, good faith compliance with this policy constitutes full compliance. While the time provisions of this policy shall be observed in a fair and equitable manner, such limits may be waived under extenuating circumstances as determined by the APR in consultation with the Provost.


Approved by Chancellor effective 5/20/13

This policy was issued on May 28, 2013, replacing the January 8, 2007 version.
Document Reference: 1Q5
Origin: GR 1-87/88; OP 12/13/88; OP 8/2/95; GR 1-05/06; GR 3/21/13

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