University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Misconduct in Scholarly Research
Recognizing that honesty in the conduct of scholarly research is fundamental to its integrity and credibility, and to the maintenance of public trust in the university, UW-Parkside adopts these policies and procedures for reviewing and investigating allegations of scholarly misconduct.
Policy and Definition
For purpose of these policies and procedures, "misconduct in scholarly research" or "Misconduct" means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scholarly community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research.
Misconduct in scholarly research is prohibited at UW-Parkside and may be cause for discipline or dismissal.
(1) Preliminary inquiry into allegations or other evidence of possible misconduct.
(a) An informal allegation or other evidence of possible misconduct in scholarly research should be brought to the attention of the person with immediate responsibility for the work of the individual(s) involved. The person receiving such an informal report or allegation should either promptly resolve the matter or encourage the submission of a formal allegation or report.
(b) A formal allegation or report of misconduct in scholarly research shall be made in writing to the appropriate academic department chair and school dean or, in case of conflict of interest on the part of the chair or dean, to the Provost/Vice Chancellor. (An allegation of misconduct involving an individual who is not a member of an academic department shall be made in writing to that person's immediate supervisor and the Provost/Vice Chancellor.)
(c) The dean is responsible for determining whether the allegation/report is non-frivolous and falls within the scope of these procedures. Any determination that an inquiry is not warranted shall be transmitted promptly to the Provost/Vice Chancellor along with documentation supporting that determination. If the Provost/Vice Chancellor concurs in determining that an inquiry is not warranted, the supporting documentation shall be maintained confidentially for a period of three years and then destroyed.
(d) If an inquiry into the allegation/report of misconduct is warranted, the dean shall promptly appoint an individual to conduct it. The purpose of the inquiry is to gather sufficient information to separate allegations that deserve further investigation from those which are unjustified or clearly mistaken. Simultaneously the dean shall notify the individual(s) against whom the allegation is made of both the allegation and the inquiry, identifying the individual(s) who filed the formal allegation/report.
(1) The individual(s) conducting the inquiry shall prepare a written report of the inquiry for the dean. The report shall describe the evidence reviewed, summarize relevant interviews, and include the conclusion of the inquiry.
(2) The individual(s) against whom the allegation is made shall be given a copy of the report by the dean, and shall have an opportunity to respond to the report within 10 days of receipt. Any response must be in writing, and will become a part of the record of the inquiry.
(3) The inquiry must be completed within 60 calendar days of its initiation unless circumstances clearly warrant a longer period. If the inquiry takes longer than 60 days to complete, the reasons for exceeding the 60-day period shall be documented and included with the record.
(4) If the inquiry concludes that the allegation of misconduct is unsubstantiated and further investigation is not warranted, the reasons and supporting documentation for this conclusion shall be reviewed by the dean. If the dean concurs in the conclusion that an investigation is not warranted, a complete record of the inquiry shall be maintained confidentially for a period of three years after the termination of the inquiry and then destroyed.
(5) If the inquiry or the dean concludes that an investigation is warranted, the procedures in part (2) below shall be followed. In every case the dean shall promptly report the conclusion of the inquiry and his/her review to the Provost/Vice Chancellor, the individual who filed the formal allegation/report and the individual(s) against whom the allegation was made.
(e) To protect the privacy and reputation of all individuals involved, including the individual who in good faith reported possible misconduct and the individual(s) against whom the allegation was made, information concerning the initial report, the inquiry and any resulting investigation shall be kept confidential and shall be released only to those having a legitimate need to know about the matter.
(2) Full investigation of reported misconduct in scholarly research.
(a) If an investigation is determined to be warranted under part (1), the dean shall so inform the Chancellor, transmitting a complete record of the inquiry. The Chancellor shall promptly consult with the University Committee and/or the Academic Staff Committee and/or the Dean of Students, as appropriate, and appoint a committee to conduct the investigation. The committee shall be composed of at least three impartial members of the faculty and/or academic staff who were not involved in the inquiry and who possess appropriate competence and research expertise for the conduct of the investigation. No individual having responsibility for the research under investigation, or having any other conflict with the university's interest in securing a fair and objective investigation, may serve on the investigating committee. If necessary, individuals possessing the requisite competence and research expertise who are not affiliated with UW-Parkside may be asked to serve as consultants to the investigating committee. Upon request, the committee will be provided legal counsel.
(b) The investigation must be initiated within 30 days of the completion of the inquiry. The purpose of the investigation is to gather and review factual information in order to weigh the allegation(s) and prepare a report for the Chancellor. The investigation normally will include examination of all documentation, including but not necessarily limited to relevant research data and proposals, publications, correspondence, and memoranda of telephone calls. Interviews should be conducted of all individuals involved either in making the allegation or against whom the allegation is made, as well as others who might have information regarding key aspects of the allegations. Summaries of interviews conducted shall be prepared, and provided to the parties interviewed for their comment or revision. These summaries shall be made a part of the record of the investigation.
(c) The individual(s) making the allegation and the individual(s) against whom the allegation is made, and all others having relevant information shall cooperate fully with the work of the investigating committee, and shall make available all relevant documents and materials associated with the research under investigation.
(d) The investigation should ordinarily be completed within 120 days of its initiation. This includes conducting the investigation, preparing the report of the findings, making that report available for comment by the subjects of the investigation, and submitting the report to the Chancellor. The individual who made the allegation should be provided with those portions of the report that address their role and opinions in the investigation. If the investigating committee determines that it cannot complete the investigation within the 120 day period, it shall submit to the Chancellor a written request for an extension explaining the need for delay and providing an estimated date of completion,. If the research under investigation is funded by an agency within the Public Health Service (PHS), the procedures under part (3), paragraph (d) of this policy shall also apply and the committee shall periodically apprise the Chancellor of their progress.
(e) The report of the investigation should include a description of the policies and procedures under which the investigation was conducted, information obtained and the sources of such information, an accurate summary of the position of the individual(s) under investigation, the findings of the committee, including the basis for its findings, the committee's recommendation to the Chancellor concerning whether the evidence of scholarly misconduct is sufficient to warrant disciplinary action or dismissal under the applicable faculty or academic staff personnel rules or applicable student disciplinary rules, and a description of any sanctions already taken by the institution. All documentation substantiating the findings and recommendation of the investigating committee, together with all other information comprising the record of the investigation, shall be transmitted to the Chancellor with the report, upon completion of the investigation.
(f) A copy of the investigating committee's report shall be provided to the individual(s) being investigated. The Chancellor or Provost/Vice Chancellor shall afford the individual(s) under investigation an opportunity to discuss the matter prior to taking action under part (4) of this policy.
(3) Reporting to Office of Scientific Integrity (OSI) when research is funded by PHS grants.
(a) If an investigation is to be initiated under part (2), that action shall be reported by the Provost/Vice Chancellor in writing to the OSI Director on or before the date the investigation begins. The notification should state the name of the individual(s) against whom the allegation of scholarly misconduct has been made, the general nature of the allegation, and the PHS application or grant numbers involved.
(b) During the course of the investigation, the granting agency should be appraised of any significant findings that might affect current or potential funding of the individual under investigation or that might require agency interpretation of funding regulations.
(c) The OSI shall be notified at any stage of an inquiry or investigation if the university determines that any of the following conditions exist:
1. There is an immediate health hazard involved;
2. There is an immediate need to protect federal funds or equipment;
3. There is an immediate need to protect the interests of the person making the allegation or of the individual(s) who is (are) the subject of the allegation as well as his/her (their) co-investigators and associates, if any;
4. It is probable that the alleged incident is going to be reported publicly:
5. There is a reasonable indication of a possible criminal violation. In that instance, the university must inform OSI within 24 hours of obtaining that information.
(d) If the investigating committee is unable to complete the investigation within the 120-day period, as described above, the Provost/Vice Chancellor shall submit to OSI a written request for an extension and an explanation of the delay, including an interim progress report and an estimated date of completion of the investigation. If the request is granted, the Provost/Vice Chancellor shall file periodic progress reports as requested by the OSI. (If satisfactory progress is not made, the OSI may undertake an investigation of its own.)
(e) If the Chancellor or the investigating committee plans to terminate an investigation for any reason without completing all the relevant requirements, a report of the termination, including a description of the reasons for the termination, shall be made to OSI by the Provost/Vice Chancellor.
(f) Upon completion of the investigation, the Provost/Vice Chancellor shall notify OSI of the outcome in a report which will include the information and documentation specified in part (2) paragraph (e) of this policy.
(4) Other action following completion of investigation.
(a) If an allegation of scholarly misconduct is substantiated as a result of an investigation, the dean shall notify the agency, if any, sponsoring the research project of the result of the investigation. In such a case, the individual(s) involved will be asked to withdraw all pending abstracts and papers emanating from the scholarly misconduct, and the dean will notify editors of journals in which relevant papers appeared. In addition, other institutions and sponsoring agencies with which the individual(s) has been affiliated shall be notified if, based on the results of the investigation, it is believed that the validity of previous research by the individual(s) under investigation is questionable.
(b) If scholarly misconduct is substantiated, the UW-Parkside will undertake appropriate action, which may result in discipline or dismissal, against the individual(s) involved. Applicable policies and procedures set forth in Chapters UWS 4, 6, 11, 13 and 14 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, Chapter 7 of UWPF, Chapters 8 and 10 of UWPA and related university policies shall govern discipline or dismissal actions resulting from an investigation of scholarly misconduct.
(c) If allegations of scholarly misconduct are not substantiated by an investigation, the UW-Parkside shall make diligent efforts, as appropriate, to restore the reputations of persons alleged to have engaged in misconduct, and to protect the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, made allegations.
*Revised: Fall 2022