Allegations of research misconduct are handled by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI)


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

  • fabrication is making up 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; and

  • 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 in opinion.

Importantly, a finding of research misconduct requires that

(a) there be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community; and

               (b) the misconduct be committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly; and

               (c) the allegation be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.


All employees or individuals associated with Brown University should report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct by emailing [email protected] or anonymously using Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline. Given that the ORI often needs more information to initiate a proceeding, we recommend reporting through [email protected]. If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of research misconduct, they may contact [email protected] to discuss the suspected misconduct informally.

Authorship disputes do not fall under the definition of research misconduct unless there is suspected plagiarism. For more information about Brown’s authorship guidelines, click here.

Review of Allegations of Research Misconduct

Allegations of research misconduct are reviewed in accordance with the process and timelines outlined in Brown’s Policy on Handling Allegations of Research Misconduct.

Related Policies and Guidelines

Brown University's Policy on Handling Allegations of Research Misconduct

Guidelines on Authorship in Scholarly or Scientific Publications


If you have questions or require more information, please contact [email protected].