Research Misconduct


Research Misconduct

Stony Brook University is committed to excellence in all research and scholarly activities.

All members of the University Community ("members") are obliged to:

  • adhere to the highest professional standards of integrity in planning, performing, reviewing, and reporting the results of research/scholarly activities conducted under the auspices of this Institution


  • report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct, and to cooperate with the Research Integrity Officer (RIO) and other institutional officials in the review of allegations and the conduct of inquiries and investigations. All parties have an obligation to provide evidence relevant to research misconduct allegations to the RIO or other institutional officials.

What is Research Misconduct?

Research misconduct is defined as: fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

  1. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  2. 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.
  3. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. Note: Unless the activity in question is funded by the NSF, this statement of policy and procedures does not apply to authorship or collaboration disputes. These exclusions from the Plagiarism definition are consistent with the federal Office of Research Integrity's position on the matter, see
  4. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

In order to find research misconduct, the following must be found:

  1. There must be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community; and
  2. The misconduct be committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly; and
  3. The allegation be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.

Articles and Training Resources - Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship

Articles and Training for Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship can be accessed at our Other Training Resources page.

What to you do if you suspect research misconduct?

Discuss possible misconduct:  According to the P210:  Research Misconduct Policy -  All faculty, staff, and students will report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to the Research Integrity Officer (RIO) in the Office of Research Compliance. If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of research misconduct, he or she may confer with the RIO about concerns of possible misconduct and will be counseled about appropriate procedures for reporting allegations if deemed appropriate. The individual may also initially meet with, or contact, the RIO to discuss the suspected research misconduct informally, which may include discussing it anonymously and/or hypothetically. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of research misconduct, the RIO will refer the individual or allegation to other offices as appropriate.

Is this process confidential?

Confidentiality: The RIO will (1) limit disclosure of the identity of respondents and complainants to those who need to know in order to carry out a thorough, competent, objective and fair research misconduct proceeding; and (2) except as otherwise prescribed by law, limit the disclosure of any records or evidence from which research subjects might be identified to those who need to know in order to carry out a research misconduct proceeding.

Protecting respondents, complainants, witnesses, and committee members: University members may not retaliate in any way against respondents, complainants, witnesses, or Inquiry/Investigation committee members. University members should immediately report any alleged or apparent retaliation against these parties to the RIO, who will review the matter and, where appropriate, refer the matter to applicable University officials.

How to file an allegation of research misconduct?

Allegations of research misconduct may be presented verbally or in writing by the complainant to the RIO. The complainant is responsible for making allegations in good faith, and maintaining confidentiality. The complainant must cooperate at all phases of the research misconduct process, including Inquiry and Investigation if required. If anonymity is requested, the RIO will make a best effort to maintain such anonymity throughout the process, as possible.

Additional questions?  Call the Office of Research Compliance

Research Compliance
Phone: 631-632-9036
Rebecca W. Dahl
Assistant Vice President for Research Compliance
Phone: (631) 632-9036
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