- It is the policy of Salish Kootenai College (SKC) to require the highest ethical standards in the research of its faculty and staff; to inquire into and, if necessary, investigate and resolve promptly and fairly all instances of alleged or apparent misconduct; and, as appropriate, to comply in a timely manner with requirements for reporting cases of possible misconduct to sponsoring agencies when sponsored research funds are involved. Misconduct in research shall be considered a breach of contract between the employee and the College.
- This policy applies to any research activity undertaken by faculty or staff. Cases of research/academic misconduct involving students are subject to the disciplinary rules governing students, but may be reviewed, where appropriate, under this policy.
In addition to the research itself, this policy applies to:
- Applications or proposals for extramural or intramural funding of research, research training or activities related to research, or training, such as the dissemination of research information;
- Plagiarism of records produced in the course of research or activities related to that research or training;
- Intentional noncompliance with applicable federal research regulations including (but not limited to) those governing the use of biohazardous materials and human subjects in research.
- This policy addresses only research misconduct as defined herein. Other misconduct such as reckless disregard for accuracy, failure to supervise, and other serious deficiencies—but not within the definition of research misconduct—may constitute breaches of other ethical and professional standards and shall be addressed by the cognizant dean, director, or vice president as provided in other applicable policies.
- II. Definitions
The following definitions apply in this policy:
“Inquiry” means information gathering and initial fact-finding to determine if the allegation or apparent instance of misconduct warrants an investigation.
“Investigation” means a formal presentation, examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine whether misconduct has occurred, the severity of the alleged misconduct and its impact, and the recommendations for specific actions to be taken to address the misconduct.
“Research” means a systemic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge including, but not limited to, scientific, applied, behavioral and social-sciences research and/or any such activity for which funding is available from federal agencies.
“Research misconduct” means 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 them.
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 opinion.
For purposes of this research misconduct policy, the definitions found in 42 CFR Part 93 shall apply in addition to the definitions above. The College hereby adopts the definitions to apply to all research misconduct regardless of funding source. “ORI” as used herein means the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity.
- Research Integrity Officer
The Research Integrity Officer (RIO) for Salish Kootenai College will be the Chair of the Salish Kootenai College Institutional review Board. In the event that the Chair is not able to serve in this capacity for a specific time period, the Chair will designate another member of the Institutional Review Board to serve as the Research Integrity Officer for that time period.
- Responsibility to Report
All employees or individuals associated with Salish Kootenai College should report observed or suspected misconduct in science and creative activities to the Research Integrity Officer (RIO). An individual, unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of scientific misconduct, may call the RIO to discuss the suspected misconduct informally. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of misconduct, the RIO will refer the individual or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving the problem. At any time, an employee may have confidential discussions and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the RIO and will be counseled about appropriate procedures for reporting allegations, which may be made orally and anonymously.
An individual who reports suspected research misconduct will be protected as a Whistleblower. The institution will protect the privacy of those who report misconduct in good faith and to the maximum extent possible. For example, if the whistleblower requests anonymity, the institution will make an effort to honor the request during the inquiry, within applicable policies and federal law.
Procedures for, Inquiry, Investigation, and Reporting of Research Misconduct are contained in Procedure 243.30.
- Institutional Administrative Actions
Salish Kootenai College will take appropriate administrative actions against individuals when an allegation of research misconduct has been substantiated through the inquiry process.
If the RIO determines that the alleged misconduct is substantiated by the findings, the case file will be turned over to the College President who will decide on the appropriate actions to be taken. Actions may include withdrawal or correction of all pending or published abstracts and papers emanating from the research where scientific misconduct was found; removal of the responsible party from the particular project; letter of reprimand; special monitoring of future work; probation, suspension, or termination of employment; and/or restitution of funds as appropriate.
Reviewed 1/2017, 8/2020