Research Integrity - ISU Office of the Vice President for Research

Research Integrity

Conduct that jeopardizes research integrity undermines the advancement of knowledge, erodes public support, wastes resources and may jeopardize safety and health. For this reason, Iowa State University prohibits research misconduct and encourages all members of the University community to report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct.

Research misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results. It also includes ordering, advising or suggesting that subordinates engage in research misconduct. The misconduct must depart significantly from accepted practices of the relevant research community and must be committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly. It does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

Allegations of research misconduct are handled by a Research Integrity Officer (RIO) appointed by the Vice President for Research. All members of the University community are encouraged to report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to the RIO. If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of research misconduct, he or she may meet with or contact the RIO to discuss the suspected research misconduct.

All information regarding possible instances of research misconduct, including the identity of the person accused and the individual making the allegation, is confidential. ISU prohibits retaliation against individuals who make allegations of research misconduct in good faith and any witnesses or others who cooperate in good faith with research misconduct proceedings.

For further information or to discuss a concern, contact Guru Rao, associate vice president for research and RIO, at or 515-294-6344.

Research misconduct concerns may also be reported on the ISU Compliance and Ethics Hotline.


ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research by Nicholas Steneck
This is a "must read" introduction to responsible research suitable for students, postdocs, early career investigators, and others who care about responsible research. It covers authorship practices, mentoring, data management, use of humans and animals in research, research misconduct, etc.

The Lab: Avoiding Research Misconduct
This interactive video allows the viewer to play four different roles in a case of suspected research misconduct. It is a highly enjoyable and informative exercise and a "must view" for students, postdocs, principal investigators, and others who suspect a colleague of research misconduct. It also looks into the pressures facing researchers and errors made by principal investigators that can lead to misconduct.

Responding to Research Wrongdoing: A User-Friendly Guide
This guide helps persons who suspect a colleague of cutting corners decide whether and how to approach the suspect informally, potentially stopping misconduct before it happens. It also explains what happens if misconduct occurs and must be handled formally.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity
This site, maintained by the lead federal organization for assuring research integrity, contains a wide variety of information for faculty, students, and administrators on the responsible conduct of research and research misconduct.

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) RCR Training
Online modules that cover a variety of aspects of the responsible conduct of research

ISU Research Misconduct Policies

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