PROCEDURES FOR RESPONDING TO ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT IN RESEARCH*
In order to maintain confidence in the integrity of the
Faculty's research enterprises,
allegations of misconduct in research must be treated with the utmost
examined carefully and responsibly. This document outlines the
responding to allegations brought against individuals who are involved
with the design,
conduct, or reporting of research in the Faculty of Arts and
Sciences. The procedures are
designed to ascertain the truth and to protect the rights both of
individuals accused of
misconduct and of others whose reputations may be brought into
Because allegations of misconduct may differ in many ways, no
single course of action will always be the most thorough and fair. The
procedures described below are intended to provide a framework for
careful and thorough investigation of allegations in a variety of
circumstances. In addition, the policies and procedures required by
federal agencies that sponsor research, research training, or related
activities shall be followed when an allegation involves activities
funded by or proposals submitted to those agencies.
"Research misconduct" or "misconduct in research"
includes 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
- 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.
Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of
Issues that do not relate to research misconduct are outside the
scope of this policy,
although the Dean may ask that the Standing Committee on Professional
consider these procedures as a framework for other investigations.
Should allegations be
made against individuals holding appointments in more than one Harvard
chair of the Standing Committee on Professional Conduct, in
consultation with the
appropriate officers in the other Faculty or Faculties, shall
determine at the outset which
Faculty shall investigate the allegations.
- All allegations of misconduct in research, except those manifestly lacking in substance, whether initially received by a department chairman or by another individual, shall be brought to the attention of the chair of the Standing Committee on Professional Conduct.
- Upon receiving an allegation of misconduct in research, the
chair of the Standing Committee shall inform the accused party or
parties of the nature of the allegation and solicit a response. If
the chair of the Standing Committee decides that further
information may be needed, he or she shall so recommend to the
Standing Committee, which shall determine whether to conduct an
Inquiry into the allegation. The Dean shall be fully informed of
the steps to be taken, and the information on which the steps are
- Upon reasonable concern for the integrity of the evidence or as
mandated by federal
requirements, the chair shall take appropriate steps to obtain and
records or other evidence that may bear upon the proceedings.
- Members of the Standing Committee or any subsequent
shall inform the chair if they have any relationship to the accused
party or parties, or
to the party or parties bringing the allegation, that may affect
their ability to review
the information with impartiality; based on this information, the
chair may ask
members to recuse themselves from Committee deliberations or may
- The purpose of the Inquiry is to determine whether an
Investigation or other action is
warranted. The Inquiry shall be conducted expeditiously and the
accused party or
parties shall be informed of the Inquiry and given an opportunity to
comment on the Inquiry report. The Inquiry report, including any
comments by the
accused party or parties, shall be conveyed to the Dean along with
Committee's determination of whether the Inquiry findings
warrant an Investigation
or other action.
- If the Standing Committee determines that an Investigation is
warranted, an ad hoc
Investigating Committee shall be empanelled. After conferring with
the Dean and
the Standing Committee, the chair of the Standing Committee shall
Investigating Committee consisting of individuals he or she deems
knowledgeable, and impartial. Some, but preferably not all, members
Investigating Committee shall be members of the Faculty of Arts and
Before the Investigating Committee is finally empanelled, the chair
shall identify the
members to the accused party or parties with a view to ascertaining
threats to the fairness of the process.
- The Investigating Committee shall consider the facts that bear on
the case. The
accused party or parties shall be informed of the charge to the
Committee and the procedures to be followed. At a time or times
designated by the
Investigating Committee, the accused party or parties shall be
invited to appear
before it. The accused party or parties shall have the right to
appear before the
Investigating Committee, shall be informed of the nature of the
evidence presented to
the Committee, and shall be given reasonable time and opportunity to
that evidence before the conclusion of the Investigation. The Dean of
shall be informed in a timely manner of the procedures and
proceedings of the
- If at any time during the process of reviewing allegations of
there is reason to believe that individuals are at risk of harm, or
that the integrity of
the research process is at risk, whether by virtue of ongoing
research activities or
other causes related to the substance of the allegations, the Dean
shall take whatever
actions he or she deems necessary to manage the risk to individuals
and to protect the
integrity of the research process.
- After completing the proceedings and deliberations it deems
Investigating Committee shall submit a report to the Dean. Before it
this report shall be offered to the accused party or parties for
review with reasonable
time to respond, and any corrections or responses supplied by the
accused shall be
included in, or appended to, the report.
- At this point, the Dean may request any further information or
assistance from the Investigating Committee or other individuals.
The Dean shall then take whatever action he or she considers
appropriate. In cases where reporting of proceedings to
outside sponsors or agencies is required, a copy of the proceedings
shall be provided,
as necessary, to the University official responsible for such
- The Office of the Dean shall maintain records of any proceedings brought hereunder.
Throughout the process all participants shall bear in mind these several considerations:
- The importance, both in fact and in appearance, of thoroughness, fairness, objectivity, and acting with reasonable speed.
- The importance of protecting the reputations of individuals and
confidentiality (including information that may identify research
subjects), to the
extent that such protections are appropriate and consistent with
other ethical and
legal obligations of the Faculty and the University.
- The need to protect the rights of the person or persons alleged
to have engaged in misconduct. These rights include the right to be
informed, with specificity at the appropriate time, of the
allegations and of the evidence in support of the allegations, and
the right to be informed of the procedures to be followed.
consideration must also be given to protecting the reputation of any
person alleged to
have engaged in misconduct, but against whom no finding of
misconduct is made.
- The need to protect the rights of good faith complainants,
witnesses, and Standing
and Investigating Committee members, including protection from
retaliation by the
accused party or parties, or by others at the University.
- The importance of ensuring that the interests and the full obligations of the Faculty are thoroughly considered.
- The importance of informing and consulting with other individuals, agencies, or institutions who have an interest in the research in question in order to meet in good faith the obligation of the Faculty to others.
* As voted by the President and Fellows of
Harvard College on March 9, 2009.
1. Depending upon the source of funding
for the research, allegations of misconduct on the part of
graduate students may be referred directly to the Administrative Board
of the College or of the Graduate School of
Arts and Sciences. Procedures specified in the Harvard University
Administrative and Professional Staff Personnel
Manual or the HUCTW
Personnel Manual may also apply if an allegation
of misconduct involves a staff member
who does not hold a teaching or research appointment.
2. If an allegation of misconduct pertains
to biomedical or behavioral research or research training or other
activities for which Public Health Service (PHS) funds have been
provided or requested, the Public
Policies on Research Misconduct at 42 CFR part 93 (the "PHS
Rule") shall be followed. This policy is intended to
include, and hereby incorporates by reference, all of the specific
mandatory requirements of the PHS Rule pertaining
to the conduct and reporting of research misconduct proceedings where
PHS funds have been provided or requested.
3. In this context, "Faculty"
shall be understood to include the several Harvard Faculties and/or
other Harvard administrative entities.
4. For allegations of misconduct that are
subject to the PHS Rule, the Inquiry shall be concluded within sixty
days of its
initiation unless circumstances warrant a longer period, in which case
the Inquiry report shall document the reason(s)
for exceeding the sixty-day period.
5. For allegations of misconduct that are
subject to the PHS Rule, the Investigation phase must begin within
of the Standing Committee's determination that an Investigation is
warranted. In such cases, the decision that an
Investigation is warranted shall be conveyed in writing by the
appropriate University official, on or before the date on
which the Investigation begins, accompanied by the Inquiry report and
other information as required by the PHS
Rule, to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) of the Department of
Health and Human Services, as well as to the
accused party or parties. No report will be submitted to ORI if the
Standing Committee determines that an
Investigation is not warranted, but the report and supporting
information will be retained in the Office of the Dean.
6. For Investigations of misconduct that
are subject to the PHS Rule, such actions taken shall also be reported
Office of Research Integrity as required.
7. For Investigations of misconduct that
are subject to the PHS Rule, the final report of the Investigating
shall be submitted to the Dean within one hundred twenty days of the
start of the Investigation, unless an extension of
time has been granted by the Office of Research Integrity.
8. For Investigations of misconduct that
are subject to the PHS Rule, the appropriate University official shall
copy of the Investigating Committee's final report to the Office
of Research Integrity, accompanied by a description
of any pending or completed administrative actions against the accused
party or parties. Such material must be
submitted to the Office of Research Integrity within one hundred
twenty days of the start of the Investigation, unless
an extension of time has been granted by the Office of Research