Overview of the University’s Research Misconduct Evaluation Process

The University of Texas at Austin is committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct in all practices of proposing, conducting and reporting research. Compromises to these standards damage the reputation of the research community and may constitute research misconduct.

Research misconduct includes:

  • Fabrication
  • Falsification
  • Plagiarism
  • Other practices that seriously deviate from ethical standards for proposing, conducting or reporting research.

Research misconduct does not include:

  • Ordinary errors
  • Good faith differences in interpretations or judgments of data
  • Scholarly or political disagreements
  • Good faith personal or professional opinions
  • Private moral or ethical behavior or views
  • Authorship disputes

Anyone with a reasonable suspicion that research misconduct has occurred at the University may report an allegation to the University’s Research Integrity Officer (RIO). After confirming that the allegation falls within the scope of the University’s research misconduct policy, the RIO will open an inquiry and proceed to an investigation as warranted. During the investigation, a three-member panel will produce findings about the case and submit their finding(s) to the Provost, who will make a final determination and may provide recommendations. The University’s research misconduct evaluation process is consistent with the U.S. Public Health Service’s Office of Research Integrity regulations.

Any questions about this process may be directed to the RIO, Dr. Mary Steinhardt, at (512) 471-2877 or email rio@austin.utexas.edu.