Research Misconduct

Principal investigators (PI) have the primary responsibility for the design, implementation and management of the research projects they direct. They are responsible for ensuring that standards of professional and ethical conduct are maintained throughout all phases of their projects. In addition, they are responsible for the sound management of their resources.

UC Berkeley has primary responsibility for prevention, detection and investigation of research misconduct. This is accomplished through the diligence of all administrative officials. The funding agencies require the University to actively ensure the integrity of research, the protection of the rights of research subjects and the public, and the observance of legal requirements related to research funding. 

Examples of research misconduct are:

  • Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, distortion, or other serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing, carrying out and reporting research;
  • Misappropriation of the work of others;
  • Failure to comply with requirements for the protection of human or animal subjects or the public;
  • Misappropriation of the University’s and/or sponsors’ property or resources;
  • Intentional breach of law, University’s rules or sponsors’ regulations; and
  • Failure to follow financial disclosure disqualification regulations as required under UC Conflict of Interest policies.

UC Berkeley may invoke academic, staff and/or student disciplinary procedures when allegations of misconduct in research arise. Federal or other sponsors may also initiate investigatory actions following allegations of misconduct. Confirmed research misconduct can result in the loss of federal funding for the PI and the University. Serious allegations may lead to criminal or civil suits which, if substantiated, may lead to the imposition of criminal and/or civil penalties.

Suspected research misconduct should be reported to the Office of the Vice Chancellor, Research.

Policies and procedures containing research standards and regulations, along with research misconduct policies and procedures can be referenced from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research web site.