Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

Rights and Responsibilities of Individuals Involved in Research Misconduct Proceedings

December 10, 2010

Complainant/Witness
Respondent
Individuals providing requested information
Research Integrity Officer
Members on the Committee on Research Integrity
Research Ethics and Compliance Office (RECO)
Vice Chancellor for Research
Deans
Department Heads
Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and General Counsel (OGC)
Legal counsel/advisor for the respondent

Complainant/Witness

Rights

  • Protection from retaliation for his/her activities related to the research misconduct proceedings
  • Protection of his/her identity to the extent possible. If complainant/witness self-discloses his or her identity/role, the University will no longer be obligated to maintain such confidentiality
  • Given five (5) business days to correct factual errors on your interview transcripts and to provide additional information
  • Notification regarding the conclusion of the proceedings

Responsibilities

  • Demonstrate candor during all phases of the proceedings and cooperate fully with the Committee on Research Integrity (CRI), Research Integrity Office (RIO), Research Ethics and Compliance Office (RECO) and all other individuals or offices charged with investigating allegations, which includes providing all relevant evidence throughout the proceedings
  • Do not act on their own and attempt to conduct an investigation or obtain evidence for which they do not have a right of access
  • Avoid actions which are, or could be perceived as, retaliatory against any individual involved with the proceedings. Adverse actions towards individuals participating in this process are strictly prohibited
  • Cooperate and do not interfere with the investigation, including but not limited to, influencing , coaching or intimidating any individual involved with the proceedings
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings (for example, you should not discuss the allegations, your participation in the proceedings, or any requests for information related to the proceedings without approval from the RIO, RECO, Office of General Counsel (OGC), or the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR))

Responsibilities Specific to Complainants

  • Make an allegation of research misconduct in good faith and provide all known information regarding the potential research misconduct
  • Serve as a witness during the proceedings, if needed

Respondent

Rights

  • Receive a prompt, fair, objective, thorough and competent investigation
  • Receive notice of all allegations/issues throughout the research misconduct proceedings
  • Receive notice of the names of the CRI members and any ad hoc members and be provided an opportunity to voice concerns regarding any potential conflicts of interest
  • Invite an advisor, or counsel to be present with you at all proceedings
  • Review and respond within five (5) business days to correct factual errors on your interview transcripts and to provide additional information
  • Given five (5) business days to comment on the written draft of the RIIP/CRI Reports; Any and all comments submitted shall be made a part of the final Reports
  • Access to or copies of the evidence on which the reports are based, as deemed appropriate
  • Receive confidential treatment to the extent possible
  • Restoration, as appropriate and to the extent possible, of his/her reputation if the allegations of research misconduct are not confirmed

Responsibilities

  • Demonstrate candor during all phases of the proceedings and cooperate fully with the CRI, RIO, RECO and all other individuals or offices charged with investigating allegations, which includes providing all relevant evidence throughout the proceedings
  • Cooperate and do not interfere with the investigation, including but not limited to, influencing , coaching or intimidating any individual involved with the proceedings
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings (for example, you should not discuss the allegations, your participation in the proceedings, or any requests for information related to the proceedings without approval from the RIO, RECO, OGC, or the VCR)
  • Avoid actions which are, or could be perceived as, retaliatory against any individual involved with the proceedings. Adverse actions towards individuals participating in this process are strictly prohibited

Individuals providing requested information during research integrity proceedings (i.e. computer support staff and department staff)

Rights:

  • Protection from retaliation for his/her activities related to a research integrity proceeding

Responsibilities:

  • Provide all requested available records, files, and data, including primary research material identified as relevant to the research integrity proceeding
  • Do  not discuss or disclose the request with anyone outside of the official proceedings, without approval from the RIO, RECO, OGC, or the VCR
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the research misconduct proceedings (for example, you should not discuss the allegations, your participation in the proceedings, or any requests for information related to the proceedings without approval from the RIO, RECO, OGC, or the VCR)

Research Integrity Officer

Throughout research misconduct proceedings the RIO’s role is not to serve as an advocate or an adversary of the individuals involved rather to ensure the proceedings are fair and conducted according to Research Integrity Policy and Procedures.

Responsibilities

  • Receive allegations of research misconduct
  • Assess an allegation to determine whether it falls within the definition of research misconduct and is sufficiently credible to warrant an inquiry
  • Sequester research records and evidence pertinent to the research misconduct proceedings
  • Inform respondents, complainants, and other witnesses of the procedural steps in the research misconduct proceedings
  • Serve as the non-voting ex officio chair of all research misconduct proceedings
  • Determine whether each person involved in handling an allegation of research misconduct has an unresolved personal, professional, or financial conflict of interest and take appropriate action, including recusal, to ensure that no person with such conflict is involved in the research misconduct proceeding
  • Notify individuals and entities within the University of research misconduct proceedings as appropriate
  • Take all appropriate steps, in cooperation with the VCR and the appropriate Dean, to (a) ensure the confidentiality of allegations and the proceedings and deliberations conducted thereto; (b) protect all individuals from retaliation for his/her activities in cooperation with, or initiation of, research misconduct proceedings provided, however, such activities were not undertaken in bad faith; and (c) protect the members of the committees from retaliation for their activities in conducting the inquiry and/or investigation
  • Recues him/herself from proceedings with which there may be a personal or professional conflict of interest

Members of the Committee on Research Integrity

Rights:

  • Protection from retaliation for his/her activities related to the research misconduct proceedings

Responsibilities:

  • Explore the research misconduct allegations in detail by conducting a thorough and unprejudiced evaluation of the evidence
  • Interview the respondent and all relevant witnesses
  • Make determinations regarding research misconduct as outlined in this policy
  • Communicate concerns of potential retaliation against individuals participating in the proceedings  immediately to the RIO
  • Recues themselves from proceedings with which they may have a personal or professional conflict
  • Take all appropriate steps to ensure the confidentiality of allegations and the proceedings and deliberations as well of the identifies of individuals involved in the proceedings

Research Ethics and Compliance Office (RECO)

Responsibilities:

  • Provide administrative support for all research misconduct proceedings at WU and to assist the RIO and the VCR to respond to allegations of research misconduct
  • Attendance at all meetings, interviews, and other proceedings regarding allegations of research misconduct
  • Maintain all records, as appropriate, of the research misconduct proceedings
  • Recues themselves from proceedings with which they may have a personal or professional conflict
  • Take all appropriate steps to (a) ensure the confidentiality of allegations and the proceedings and deliberations as well as the identifies of individuals involved in the proceedings

Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR)

Rights:

Notification of:

  • Initiation of an inquiry, including summary of allegations and notice of acquiring of evidence
  • Dismissal of allegations
  • Initiation of an investigation
  • Outcome of the investigation, including the determinations of the CRI and a copy of the final CRI report when applicable

Responsibilities:

  • Establish and maintain a culture of compliance and cooperation with all applicable standards imposed by research sponsors and federal regulations
  • Appoint the RIO
  • Communicate promptly potential allegations of research misconduct to the RIO
  • Notify individuals and entities external to the University of research misconduct proceedings and/or outcomes as appropriate
  • Provide  appropriate expertise and administrative support to the RIO and CRI
  • Ensure administrative actions and/or sanctions taken by the University, ORI or the sponsor are enforced
  • Take all appropriate steps, in cooperation with the RIO and the appropriate Dean, to (a) ensure the confidentiality of allegations and the proceedings and deliberations conducted thereto; (b) protect all individuals from retaliation for his/her activities in cooperation with, or initiation of, research misconduct proceedings; and (c) protect the members of the committees created by this document from retaliation for their activities in conducting the inquiry and/or investigation

Deans

Rights:

Notification of:

  • Initiation of an inquiry, including summary of allegations and notice of acquiring of evidence
  • Dismissal of allegations
  • Initiation of an investigation
  • Outcome of the investigation, including the determinations of the CRI and a copy of the final CRI report when applicable

Responsibilities:

  • Communicate promptly  potential allegations of research misconduct to the RIO
  • Take all appropriate steps, in cooperation with the RIO and the VCR, to (a) ensure the confidentiality of allegations and the proceedings and deliberations conducted thereto; (b) protect all individuals from retaliation for his/her activities in cooperation with, or initiation of, research misconduct proceedings, provided, and (c) protect the members of the committees created by this document from retaliation for their activities in conducting the inquiry and/or investigation
  • Determine appropriate administrative actions and/or sanctions taken by the University, taking into consideration the CRI’s recommendations

Department Heads

Rights:

Notification of:

  • Initiation of an inquiry, including summary of allegations and notice of acquiring of evidence
  • Dismissal of allegations
  • Initiation of an investigation
  • Outcome of the investigation, including the determinations of the CRI and a copy of the final CRI report when applicable

Responsibilities:

  • Communicate promptly potential allegations of research misconduct to the RIO
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the research misconduct proceedings

Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and General Counsel (OGC)

Responsibilities:

  • Communicate promptly potential allegations of research misconduct to the RIO
  • Serve as legal counsel to the RIO, the RIIP, and the CRI
  • Attend, upon request by the RIO, meetings, interviews, and other proceedings during the proceedings
  • Does not actively participate in the interviews

Legal counsel/advisor for the respondent

Rights:

  • Attend meetings and/or interviews involving his/her client

Responsibilities:

  • Submit all communications through the OGC
  • Does not actively participate in the meetings and interviews
  • Does not interfere with the proceedings, including but not limited to, contacting witnesses