Definition of Research Misconduct

Definition of Research Misconduct


  • Prof. Dr. Syed Muhammad Awais




Unfortunately, a single definition of research miscon-duct does not exist, although most of them include falsification, fabrication and plagiarism. In 2000, re-presentatives of medical councils, professional socie-ties, foundations and industry joined at "a Conference on Misconduct in Biomedical Research" and issued a broader definition that states "Behavior by a Resea-rcher intentional or not that falls short of good ethical and scientific standards".

      Britain's largest biomedical charity "The welcome Trust" defines misconduct as;

      "Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception in proposing, carrying out, or reporting results of rese-arch or deliberate, dangerous or negligent deviations from accepted practices in carrying out research. It includes failure to follow established protocols if this failure results in unreasonable risk or harms to hum-ans, other vertebrates, or the environment and facilita-ting of misconduct in research by collusion in, or con-cealment of, such actions by others. It also includes intentional, unauthorized use, disclosure, or removal or damage to research related property of another includ-ing apparatus, materials, writing, data, hardware or software or any other substances or devices used in the conduct of research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in the design, execution, interpreta-tion or judgment in evaluating research methods or results or misconduct unrelated to the research process. Similarly it does not include poor research unless this encompasses the intention to deceive".

      In 2000, the "White House Office of Science and Technology Policy", issued a federal definition of research misconduct. In April 2002 US National Scie-nce Foundation (NCF) adopted this policy and relea-sed following NSF definition;

      "Research Misconduct" means fabrication, falsifi-cation, or plagiarism in proposing or performing resea-rch funded by NSF, reviewing research proposals sub-mitted to NSF, or in reporting research results funded by NSF.

(1)   Fabrication means making up data or results and recording or reporting them.

(2)   Falsification means manipulating research mate-rials, equipment, or processes. Or changing or omitting data or results such that research is not accurately represented in the research record.

(3)   Plagiarism means the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results or words without giving appreciate credit.

(4)   Research, for purposes of paragraph (a) of this section, includes proposals submitted to NSF in all fields of sciences, engineering, mathematics, and education and results from such proposals.

(5)   Research misconduct does not include honest error or difference of opinion.



How to Cite

Awais, P. D. S. M. (2014). Definition of Research Misconduct. Annals of King Edward Medical University, 19(2), 114.