Published June 28, 2019
In the last year, we have seen at least two high-profile and significant research misconduct events:
- Duke University reached a $112.5 million settlement with the Department of Justice around whistleblower allegations that Duke submitted claims to federal agencies containing falsified or fabricated data or statements in 30 grants over numerous years. A former Duke biologist was accused of co-authoring the fraudulent reports in addition to being charged with embezzlement.
- Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston requested retraction of 31 published studies that contained fabricated and falsified data.
These cases illustrate the far reaching repercussions of research misconduct. They serve to highlight our responsibilities to adhere to the highest standards of ethical behavior including the responsibilities to act with integrity and to report conduct that does not meet these standards. The magnitude of Duke’s settlement was likely influenced by the lack of oversight and reporting of the data fabrication.
As a reminder, Washington University’s Code of Conduct articulates “the ethical and legal standards we use as the basis for our decisions and standards” and outlines how to report a variety of concerns. Should you specifically have a concern or allegation of research misconduct, or one is brought to your attention, confidentially contact Dr. Gregory Storch, Research Integrity Officer, at 314.286.2887 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Office of Research Integrity and Ethics at 314.747.1378 or email@example.com. Alternatively, anonymous reporting is available via the University Compliance website or hotline: 314.362.4998 (de-identified phone number).
Web-based resources are available at Research Integrity. My team is also developing additional tools, resources, and information for our researchers. If you have any suggestions, please submit those to OCVRinfo@wustl.edu.
Questions can be directed to the contacts noted above.
Jennifer K. Lodge, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research