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Research Integrity

US Office of Research Integrity received 269 allegations of research misconduct last fiscal year

Office closed 36 cases and released nine findings of research misconduct during the period

by Dalmeet Singh Chawla, special to C&EN
February 24, 2023

The US Office of Research Integrity (ORI) received a total of 269 complaints of alleged research misconduct between Oct. 1, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2022, a new report released by the agency reveals.

During the period, the agency closed 42 cases and released nine findings of research misconduct (one involving a single person but two institutions); 10 other investigated cases yielded no such findings. The ORI declined to pursue the remaining 22 cases. In the nine cases with guilty findings, seven were cases of falsification and fabrication, one was falsification alone, and one was of plagiarism.

The ORI defines research misconduct as “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.” In two of the nine cases, the researchers were banned from federal research funding for a certain period of time, and four papers have been requested to be retracted or corrected.

In the last fiscal year, the ORI continued 33 cases from previous years and opened 38 new ones. The ORI has also awarded three grants totaling just under $450,000 to researchers conducting studies in the area of research integrity.

In September 2022, the ORI released a request for information, asking institutions, funders, and concerned individuals for their views on the ORI’s plans to revise the 2005 Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct. In the new report, the ORI reveals that 31 institutions, organizations, and individuals submitted comments, which the agency will use to develop a notice for public comment.



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