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What is Research Misconduct?

The United States government defines research misconduct as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing, or reporting research results. It does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

  • Fabrication: making up data or results and recording or reporting them
  • Falsification: 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: appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit

At UH, misconduct also includes: abuse of confidentiality, property violation, improprieties of authorship, misappropriation of funds, violation of generally accepted research practices, material failure to comply with federal, state, or university regulations, and deliberate misrepresentation of qualifications.


UH Excecutive Policies and Administrative Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Research and Scholarly Misconduct

These policies and procedures apply to all faculty, researchers, and staff members, including, without limitation, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral research associates, visiting faculty or staff, faculty or staff on sabbatical leave, and adjunct faculty when performing University work, and faculty or staff on leave without pay.  This also includes persons, who at the time of the alleged research misconduct, were employed by, were agents of, or were affiliated by contact or agreement with the University.


If the U.S. government finds that you have committed research misconduct, the consequences can be severe:

  • Imprisonment
  • Fines
  • Pemanent or lengthly debarment from eligibility to receive Federal funds, including Medicare reimbursement of medical services you provide
  • Prohibition from service on federal advisory committees, peer review committees, or as consultants
  • Imposed supervision of research supported by federal funds
  • Required certification of research information sources or data 
  • Correction or retraction of published articles found to be fraudulent
  • Loss of reputation


If UH finds that you have committed research misconduct, the consequences also can be severe:

  • Loss of employment
  • Reduction in salary
  • Loss of resources
  • Restrictions
  • Increased supervision