Truth, integrity and credibility are essential for the progress of scientific research and to preserve the trust of the community we serve. Marshfield Clinic and its Division of Research is unequivocally committed to the ethical conduct of research and will deal forthrightly with individuals who do not maintain the highest degree of scientific integrity in their work. Individuals involved in research activities have an obligation to conduct their research in an ethical manner, and to report any suspected misconduct to an institutional official.

A general principle of ethical conduct is that the written work of an author, (whether it is a manuscript or a grant proposal) represents original work or ideas of the author. Ethical writing is accurate and honest. At times unintentional errors occur (unconscious plagiarism), such as when an author believes an idea is original, when it was actually articulated earlier by someone else, or when authors borrow from a source and unintentionally fail to fully credit the source. These and other types of inadvertent lapses probably occur frequently. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

There are three major types of scientific misconduct defined by the Public Health Service:

  • Plagiarism: "taking over the ideas, methods, or written words of another, without acknowledgment and with the intention that they be taken as the work of the deceiver." (American Association of University Professors; September/October, 1989).
  • Fabrication: making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  • Falsification: 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.

Below are links to several websites that provide additional information about Research Misconduct.

NIH Office of Research Integrity (ORI)
Research Misconduct