Misconduct Investigation Procedure

Consultation: new edition of UKRIO research misconduct investigation procedure

We would welcome your views on a draft of the revised edition of UKRIO’s Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research.

Designed as a template which can be adopted by research organisations or used to inform the development of their own processes, the Procedure has undergone a comprehensive review based on developments within the research sector and in the research integrity landscape. The update has also been informed by UKRIO’s extensive experience in drafting and updating research misconduct processes at scores of research organisations and in advising on the conduct of investigations.

We have also reviewed many examples of existing procedures to ensure that the review takes account of existing good practice. As well as updating the content, the format and structure of the Procedure have also been revised to ensure clarity and ease of use.

The draft revised Procedure is available here and a summary of the key changes in the revised edition can be found here.


Survey on the draft revised Procedure

We would be grateful if you would complete a short survey on the consultation draft: UKRIO revised misconduct procedure survey

  • We welcome responses from any stakeholder, institutional or individual.
  • The survey should take c.10 minutes to complete and we ask that survey responses be submitted by 6th June 2022.

Research misconduct is a serious issue that can have significant consequences for public trust in research. It is vital that it is investigated thoroughly and fairly, in a timely manner with appropriate transparency and confidentiality. UKRIO’s Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research is designed to help such an approach, and has been adopted by many research organisations and endorsed by funding bodies and other stakeholders.

Your contributions to our survey will be incredibly helpful in the development of this important resource for the research community.


Current edition

The Procedure is a step-by-step manual for investigating allegations of fraud and misconduct in research, applicable to all subject areas and suitable for all organisations engaged in research – universities, NHS organisations, private sector bodies and charities.

Published in 2008, the Procedure has been adopted by universities and NHS Trusts, endorsed by funding bodies and used to investigate allegations of research misconduct, which can have serious and wide-ranging implications if not addressed properly.

The Procedure explains how a research organisation can create a system to address suspected research misconduct and fraud and sets out a process to be followed from the receipt of an allegation to the conclusion of an investigation and actions that might be taken afterwards. The Procedure describes the many issues that can arise in the course of an investigation, especially with complex allegations, and how to address them.

Use of the Procedure can help ensure that important issues are not missed and investigations are:

  • thorough and objective
  • carried out with fairness to all concerned and in a confidential and timely manner
  • flexible to the circumstances of individual cases
  • driven by strong principles

Institutions can adopt the Procedure for use when investigating allegations of misconduct in research or use it as a reference tool when revising their existing processes to address misconduct. It works with existing institutional processes such as disciplinary and grievance procedures and does not replace them.

UKRIO is happy to provide advice and assistance to institutions on the adoption and use of the Procedure and on the general revision of policies and systems to promote good research practice and address fraud and misconduct.