Texas A&M is committed to promoting and ensuring the highest standards of research integrity. Research misconduct is a violation of research integrity that undermines trust among colleagues, trust in our stewardship of public funds, and impedes the advancement of knowledge that impacts the well-being of society.
Defining Research Misconduct
Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences in interpretations or judgments of data, nor does it include other forms of misconduct, such as sexual harassment, misuse of funds, or gross negligence in a person’s professional activities, etc.
Reporting Research Misconduct
Maintaining our high standards of scholarly integrity is a shared responsibility of all Texas A&M employees. Texas A&M employees who become aware of possible research misconduct should report their concerns to their supervisor, department head, dean, or the vice president for research. You may also report research misconduct or discuss any concern about possible research misconduct by contacting the University Research Integrity Officer, Gerianne Alexander, PhD, by email, phone, or in person.
Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct
There are three stages of response to an allegation of misconduct: (1) assessment, (2) inquiry, and (3) investigation. Each of these stages is explained fully in university SAP 15.99.03.M1.01: Guidelines for Scientific Misconduct Investigation and Inquiry (rulessaps.tamu.edu/PDFs/15.99.03.M1.01.pdf). All stages of response to an allegation are confidential to the full extent made possible by the law and characterized by respect and fairness towards the individuals involved. When the concern(s) and/or allegation(s) are expressed in good faith, reasonable steps are taken to protect against retaliation directed toward the position and reputation of the individual reporting research misconduct. The individual(s) responding to alleged misconduct are also treated with fairness and respect, and reasonable steps are taken to ensure that procedural safeguards listed in system regulations and in university rules and SAPs are followed.
Guidelines for Scientific Misconduct Investigation and Inquiry