Misconduct Investigation Procedure

Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research

Research misconduct can have wide-ranging and serious consequences. It harms the integrity of research projects and damages the public’s trust in research. It can also lead to harm to research participants and communities. It’s therefore essential that organisations have robust procedures to investigate alleged misconduct fully and fairly, and UKRIO’s Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research fulfils this vital need.

Designed as a template which can be adopted by research organisations or used to inform the development of their own processes, the Procedure is a step-by-step manual for investigating misconduct in research, applicable to all subject areas and suitable for all organisations engaged in research – universities, NHS organisations, private sector bodies and charities.

A new edition: the first edition of our Procedure has been adopted by many research organisations, endorsed by funding bodies, and used to investigate complex allegations of research misconduct. This new edition 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 and unique experience in addressing research misconduct, including advising on the conduct of investigations, supporting involved parties, and reviewing investigation processes at scores of research organisations . The format and structure of the Procedure have also been revised to ensure clarity and ease of use.

UKRIO has long championed high standards of quality and ethics in research. This new publication will work alongside our other activities, from education and training to answering the big questions in the research integrity landscape – such as our review on barriers to dealing with research misconduct.

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Using the Procedure: 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.