Research Misconduct

At Emory, matters involving allegations of Research Misconduct are handled according to Emory University Policy 7.8, the Policy on Research Misconduct (the Policy).  Emory personnel are encouraged to review and consult with the Policy for a more in-depth understanding of the issue. In addition, please consult our Training and Education page for educational materials related to Research Misconduct.

Under the Policy, Research Misconduct is defined as:

  • Fabrication - making up of Research 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 Records
  • Plagiarism - the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit

The Policy notes that there is a responsibility to immediately report any observed or suspected Research Misconduct or Regulation/Policy Violation to your supervisor, the chair or chief administrator of your department, the dean/director of your unit, or directly to the Research Integrity Officer (RIO). If an allegation is initially reported to anyone other than the RIO, then that person, in turn, should report the allegation to the RIO. If one is unsure whether or not a particular incident or practice constitutes research misconduct or a regulation/policy violation, you may call the Research Integrity Officer (RIO) to discuss the matter confidentially and obtain guidance. The RIO for Emory University is the Chief Compliance Officer and can be reached at (404) 727-2398. Alternatively, reports or questions may be made anonymously by dialing the Trust Line: 1-888-550-8850. The Trust Line is operated by an independent third party who will maintain the caller's anonymity, while ensuring that the caller's report is routed to the proper individuals within the University.  Emory also has an online reporting tool, the Emory Trust Line Online, for those who prefer this method.  You can report anonymously.  Your report will be triaged by the same third-party vendor that manages the telephone hotline.

Please note that for emergencies, both the telephone Trust Line and the Trust Line Online should not be used.

  • Office of Compliance Telephone Number: (404) 727-2398
  • Trust Line: 1-888-550-8850
  • Trust Line Online

A basic overview of the process by which allegations of Research Misconduct are handled is as follows:

  • Once an allegation has been brought to the attention of the RIO, the RIO will conduct an initial review of the matter. This will include interviewing relevant personnel, gathering/sequestering relevant data, and reviewing the facts.
  • If the RIO determines that the criteria for an Inquiry are met then the RIO will notify and consult with the appropriate Administrative Official for the unit/school involved and if the Administrative Official concurs in the assessment, then the Administrative Official shall initiate the Inquiry.
  • An Inquiry Committee will be appointed to review the matter. The Inquiry Committee will determine whether there is sufficient substantive Evidence of possible Research Misconduct to recommend further Investigation based on the criteria found in the Policy and the criteria found in any applicable Government Requirements (e.g., for Research receiving PHS Support, the criteria found in 42 CFR § 93.307(d)).
  • If a recommendation is made for further Investigation, an Investigation Committee will be appointed to determine whether, by a preponderance of evidence, fabrication, falsification or plagiarism occurred; it was committed intentionally, knowingly or recklessly; it was a significant departure from accepted practices of the research community; and it did not result from honest error or a difference of opinion.