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Office of Research Compliance

Research Misconduct

A strong commitment to research integrity is at the very core of Clemson University’s highly regarded research program.

The term “research integrity” includes not only the ideals of honesty and fairness, but also compliance with research norms, guidelines, and policies. To ensure that Clemson is in compliance with current regulatory requirements as well as to assist the research community with issues of research integrity, the University has developed a policy that addresses how it will respond to allegations of research misconduct.

  • What is Research Misconduct?

    Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. The procedures outlined in our policy (PDF) meet the federal regulatory standards established by federal funding agencies.

    Research misconduct does NOT include honest error.

    The procedures outlined in our policy (PDF) meet the federal regulatory standards established by federal funding agencies.

  • What is the scope of research misconduct?

    Research misconduct (RM) can occur anywhere in the research process --from grant proposals to reporting results-- regardless of the funding status of the project. 

    While the federal definition of RM is narrow, there are many other inappropriate activities or behaviors that can enable if not lead to an allegation of fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism (FFP). Examples might include:

    • Noncompliance with approved study procedures
    • P-hacking or other manipulations of data to imply power of an outcome
    • Harassment, bullying, or intimidation within the research team
    • Poor record keeping or data storage
    • Inappropriate use of research materials or funds
    • Failure to appropriate proper credit of contributions
  • What if I suspect something?

    You may speak confidentially with the Office of Research Compliance about any concerns you have. A formal allegation of RM would need to be in good faith, with evidence, and must meet the criteria for FFP. Please see our Report a Concern page for contact options.

  • What happens if I report?

    You may report an allegation several ways: 

    1. Directly to the Research Integrity Officer
    2. Through the Ethics Hotline (which will allow you to report anonymously)
    3. To the federal agency which sponsors the project

    Allegations will be received and reviewed by the Research Integrity Officer. Our Policy on Research Misconduct (PDF) explains the process or reviewing allegations.

    Your information will be kept confidential. Our Whistleblower Policy (PDF) below provides details on Clemson’s commitment to your protection against any retaliation.