Research misconduct

VCU is committed to fostering an environment of uncompromising integrity and ethical conduct in its research and research-related activities. As such, faculty, staff, and students involved in any part of the university’s research endeavors must comply with VCU’s Research Misconduct policy and applicable regulations.

What is research misconduct?

misconduct in the dictionaryResearch misconduct is fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results. It is prohibited.

  • 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.

VCU’s Research Misconduct policy does not apply to authorship or collaboration disputes or allegations of self-plagiarism. See research ethics consultation for guidance with these issues. 

Reporting misconduct

Anyone having reason to believe that research misconduct has occurred, or is occurring, must immediately report the information to the Research Integrity Officer (RIO) or the Office of Research Integrity and Ethics. If the RIO determines the reported concern does not meet the definition of an allegation of research misconduct, the RIO may offer guidance and/or refer the individual or allegation to other university officers or officials with responsibility for resolving issues.

Research integrity officer
Caley Dugan, MHA
Research Integrity and Ethics
(804) 827-2156

Research Integrity and Ethics

Alternatively, concerns may be reported to the VCU Helpline, which provides university members an anonymous and confidential reporting option 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If the concern involves research misconduct, it is referred to the RIO.

VCU Helpline
1-888-242-6022 or 


VCU policies

Federal regulations