Degree Programs

Misconduct in Research


As a community of scholars in which truthfulness and integrity are fundamental, the University must establish procedures for the investigation of allegations of misconduct of research with due care to protect the rights of those making the allegations, those accused, and the University. Furthermore, federal regulations require the University to have explicit procedures for addressing incidences in which there are allegations of misconduct in research. Therefore, in congruence with the University of North Carolina Policy on Research Misconduct, adopted August 11, 2006, Winston-Salem State University has created its specific policy on how the institution will respond to allegations relative to research misconduct.

Winston-Salem State University Research Misconduct Policy and Procedures (Appendix N, OSP Policy and Procedure Manual)

Misconduct in Research defined:

Research misconduct is defined as 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.

The definition of research misconduct does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data. Moreover, the definition contained in this policy is not intended to override or contradict provisions of other regulations or policies, in particular those policies governing human research subjects and animal welfare.

Findings of Misconduct in Research:

A finding of research misconduct requires that:

  • There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community;
  • The misconduct be committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly;
  • The allegation be proven by a preponderance of evidence.

Examples of Activities Representing Misconduct:

The following are but examples of misconduct -- the list does not include all activities that would constitute misconduct:

  • Claiming the ideas or words of another to be one's own.
  • Including false statements or data in research proposals, progress reports, publications, or related documents.
  • Manipulating research procedures or data so as to bias results.
  • Failure to give appropriate recognition to people who have made significant contributions to the research.
  • Misuse of confidential material such as manuscripts and grant proposals received in the peer review process and proprietary information or materials.

Examples of Activities Not Representing Misconduct:

  • Honest differences in interpretation or judgments of data.
  • Honest errors in the recording, selection, or analysis of data.

Whom to Contact:

At any time, you may consult confidentially about whether to submit an allegation of research misconduct with any of the following:

  • Chair of the Appropriate Discipline, Committee or Body, or Equivalent or the Immediate supervisor of the Center or Institute Director
  • The Dean of the Appropriate Discipline, Committee or Body, or Equivalent
  • The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
  • The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research and Chief Research Officer
  • The Director of Sponsored Programs
  • The Compliance Officer

Winston-Salem State University

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Winston-Salem, NC 27110

Phone: (336) 750-2000

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