Research Conduct Policies

Research Misconduct: Definition of Research Misconduct under Federal Policy

Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

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.

(Source: 65 FR 76260-76264; 70 FR 37010-37016; 2 CFR § 910.132; 10 CFR § 733.3)

A finding of research misconduct requires that:

There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community;
The misconduct be committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly; and
The allegation be proven by a preponderance of evidence.

(Source: 65 FR 76260-76264; 70 FR 37010-37016; 2 CFR § 910.132; 10 CFR § 733.3)

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The following policies apply to all BES-supported researchers:

  • Conducting Research in a Safe and Environmentally Conscientious Manner. The Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) is committed to conducting research in a manner that ensures protection of the workers, the public, and the environment. Protecting the workers, the public, and the environment is a direct and individual responsibility of all BES managers and BES-supported researchers and their staff. Funds provided by BES for research will be applied as necessary to ensure that all BES research activities are conducted safely and in an environmentally conscientious manner. Only research conducted in this way will be supported.
  • Attendance at BES-Sponsored Functions . Program managers and supervisors of researchers supported by BES programs are strongly encouraged to be sensitive and flexible in response to conflicts that may arise in balancing career demands with family responsibilities. In particular, researchers should be informed that there is flexibility with regard to attendance at BES-sponsored functions including contractors' meetings and program reviews. Events such as pregnancy, childbirth, death or illness in the family, or other personal events are valid reasons for personnel substitution or postponement. If the function cannot be postponed, it may be advantageous to give experience to junior staff, postdoctoral fellows, or graduate students. If there is a question regarding attendance at a particular BES review or similar function, the manager or researcher should not hesitate to contact the BES program manager.