RCR FAQs

What Do You Know About RCR?

Q. What is "fair use" and how does it impact the ability to use copyrighted material?

A. Fair Use refers to an exemption specified in copyright that can allow use without permission in some cases. The limitation of fair use provides exceptions to the rights of copyright holders in certain cases, allowing people to use portions of works for non-profit, academic, and other purposes provided those uses stay within certain bounds. 

Q. What office at Brown handles inquiries of research misconduct?

A. The Office of Vice President for Research (OVPR) handles inquiries of research misconduct at Brown. Allegations of research misconduct should be reported to the Office of Research Integrity. Contact Keri Godin, Director of the Office of Research Integrity. 

Q. What is the Belmont Report; why is it important for human subjects research?

A. The Belmont Report is the report of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research (entitled: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research). It is a statement of basic ethical principles and guidelines that should assist in resolving the ethical problems regarding all conduct of research involving human subjects.

It is important because it summarizes the basic ethical principles and rules that guide the investigators or the reviewers of research in their work and it is intended to assure that research involving human subjects is carried out in an ethical manner. 

Q. Who owns your research notebook?

A. The University who provides research support is entitled to ownership of intellectual property developed by the individuals. And both the PI and the University have responsibilities and rights concerning access to, use of, and maintenance of original research data. 

Q. What is the IACUC and what research does it oversee?

A. IACUC is the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, a federally mandated committee, qualified through the experience and expertise of its members that oversees its institution's animal program, facilities, and procedures. 

Q. How can I recognize plagiarism?

A. Plagiarism is defined as "appropriating another person's ideas or words (spoken or written) without attributing those word or ideas to their true source." Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge. Otherwise it will be considered as plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a violation of the Brown Academic Code. Plagiarism applies to the use of sources, lab work and assignments, creative work, exams, quizzes and tests. Several software tools are available to detect plagiarism. 

Q. When is it acceptable to discuss a manuscript I have reviewed for a journal?

A. Manuscripts under review are confidential documents, and should be treated as such. They contain unpublished data and ideas that must be kept confidential. The reviewer cannot share a manuscript or its contents with others. The outcome and content of the review are confidential. The reviewer should understand the need for confidentiality remains even after the review is complete. Both the contents of the paper and the outcome of the review remain confidential until the paper is published.

Even after the paper is published, information on the review process should remain confidential.

If a reviewer anticipates being in a situation where the paper will be discussed, the reviewer should read the final published version of the paper. It is not uncommon for a paper to evolve substantially during the review process. The reviewer therefore should discuss the published version of the paper, rather than the earlier version that was reviewed in confidence. Review of grant applications is also a confidential process. 

Q. May I download and print an entire electronic book via a library's e-resource?

A. No, US copyright law allows Fair Use of reproduction and distribution of copyrighted materials on a limited basis for specific purposes without the permission of the copyright holder. In order for Fair Use to apply, the reproduction and distribution must be for the noncommercial purposes of scholarship, research or education. Fair Use is a limited right. It generally means you cannot reproduce or distribute large portions of a book or multiple articles from the same issue of a journal. A reasonable interpretation of the law is one article per issue of a journal, and one-tenth or one chapter of book. Use beyond this allowance requires payment of copyright royalty fees to the publisher. 

Q. What is the Office of Research Integrity?

A. The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It promotes research integrity in biomedical and behavioral research supported by the U.S. Public Health Services at about 4,000 institutions worldwide. ORI maintains institutional investigations of research misconduct and facilitates RCR through educational, preventive, and regulatory activities.