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Graduate Programs in Mathematics and Science Education: Academic Integrity

Research Integrity

Examples in Research Integrity: Research Misconduct

Of all of the areas in research integrity, research misconduct may be the most familiar. Research misconduct, namely, fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism, involve research choices made by a scientist or engineer where the act of wrongdoing is often the most clear and in which there is little ethical ambiguity. One can certainly fabricate or falsify more or less data, or plagiarize a little or a lot, but just the mere fact of doing so makes the action a violation of the basic ethical expectation of responsible research. 

The ORI defines Research Misconduct as follows:

Research misconduct means 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.
  4. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
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