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Responsible Conduct of Resrch&Scholarly Activities

Policy Number T08-010
Effective Date June 12, 2008
Responsible Office/Person Board of Trustees

 DOC. T08-010

Passed by the BoT
June 12, 2008

Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research
And Scholarly Activites


Adherence to the highest ethical and moral standards in the conduct of research and scholarly activity is the expectation for all members of the University of Massachusetts community. Each campus shall establish and submit to the President's office for approval procedures to promote research integrity through the responsible conduct of research as well as procedures for pursuing investigations of allegations of scientific misconduct. Research Misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reporting, or reviewing research, not including honest error or difference of opinion. Campus procedures shall ensure adherence to policies of the United States Public Health Service (PHS), 42 CFR Part 93, the National Science Foundation (NSF), 45 CFR Part 689, and any other relevant federal, state, or funding agencies and shall apply to all research and scholarly activity carried out at the University campus by University employees.

These campus procedures must provide for:

Protection of the confidentiality of respondents, complainants, and research subjects identifiable from research records or evidence, consistent with applicable state and Federal law and regulations.

A thorough, competent, objective, and fair response to allegations of research misconduct consistent with, and within the time limits of the applicable Federal rules, including precautions to ensure that individuals responsible for carrying out any part of the research misconduct proceeding do not have unresolved personal, professional, or financial conflicts of interest with the complainant, respondent, or witnesses.

Notice to the respondent consistent with and within the time limits of the applicable Federal rules.

Written notice to appropriate Federal authorities of any decision to open an investigation on or before the date on which the investigation begins.

An opportunity for the respondent to provide written comments on the campus’s inquiry report.

An opportunity for the respondent to provide written comments on the draft report of the investigation, and provisions for the institutional investigation committee to consider and address the comments before issuing the final report.

Protocols for handling the research records and evidence, including the requirements of applicable Federal rules.

Appropriate interim institutional actions to protect public health, Federal funds and equipment, and the integrity of the federally-supported research process.

Notice to Federal authorities under applicable regulations and notice of any facts that may be relevant to protect public health, Federal funds and equipment, and the integrity of the federally-supported research process.

Institutional actions in response to final findings of research.

All reasonable and practical efforts, if requested and appropriate, to protect and restore the reputation of persons alleged to have engaged in research misconduct but against whom no finding of research misconduct is made.

(The campus may make findings of research misconduct or other breaches of research integrity under internal policies and standards adopted by the institution even if no misconduct or other breaches of integrity are found under the applicable Federal regulation.)
All reasonable and practical efforts to protect or restore the position and reputation of any complainant, witness, or committee member and to counter potential or actual retaliation against those complainants, witnesses and committee members.

Full and continuing cooperation with Federal authorities during any investigatory reviews or any subsequent hearings or appeals under which the respondent may contest Federal agency findings of research misconduct and proposed administrative actions. This includes providing, as necessary to develop a complete record of relevant evidence, all research records and evidence under the campus’s control or custody, or in the possession of, or accessible to, any persons within its authority.

This policy supersedes Doc. T98-093 as amended (University of Massachusetts Medical Center Policy for Responding to Allegations of Scientific Misconduct) and Doc. T91-035A (Procedures for Dealing with Charges of Misconduct in Research and Scholarly Activities at the University of Massachusetts Amherst).

Campuses will submit procedures for implementing this policy to the President’s office for approval.