Research Misconduct Policy

Consistent with the values expressed in the Bates College mission statement of rigorous scholarship, intellectual discovery, and informed civic action, the college holds its faculty, research staff, and students to the highest standards of integrity and responsibility in the conduct of research. Bates seeks to prevent any instances of research misconduct, and takes seriously the need to investigate possible instances, while protecting the positions and reputations of those who file complaints in good faith, witnesses, and those asked to serve on committees, so that any necessary investigations may proceed without fear or favor.

“Research Misconduct” is defined as the fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them. Falsification is 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 is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

All faculty, staff members and students have a responsibility to report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to the Research Integrity Officer (RIO, Associate Dean Áslaug Ásgeirsdóttir, 207-786-6472, aasgeirs@bates.edu). If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of research misconduct, the individual may contact the RIO to discuss the suspected research misconduct informally, which may include discussing it anonymously and/or hypothetically. At any time, you can have confidential discussions and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the RIO and will be counseled about appropriate procedures for reporting allegations of research misconduct.

All faculty and staff members as well as students are responsible to cooperate with the RIO and other institutional officials in the review of allegations of research misconduct and the conduct of inquiries and investigations. All have an obligation to provide evidence relevant to allegations of research misconduct to the RIO or other institutional officials.

Throughout the proceedings, the RIO and all participants in the proceedings shall, to the extent possible, limit disclosure of the identity of respondents and complainants to those who need to know in order to carry out a thorough, competent, objective and fair research misconduct proceeding; and, except as otherwise prescribed by law, limit the disclosure of any records or evidence from which research subjects might be identified to those who need to know in order to carry out a research misconduct proceeding. The RIO shall also have the option of keeping confidential the identities of witnesses.

Faculty, staff members, and students may not retaliate in any way against complainants, witnesses, or committee members. Any alleged or apparent retaliation against complainants, witnesses, or committee members shall be reported to the RIO, who shall review the matter and, as necessary, make all reasonable and practical efforts to counter any potential or actual retaliation and protect and restore the position and reputation of the person against whom the retaliation is directed.

For more details on the policy and procedures for investigating allegations of research misconduct, please consult pages 7.2-10 of the Bates College Faculty Handbook (bates.edu/dof/files/2010/09/7-Research-2014-2015.pdf ).