Bill 12-A-14 - Revising the "Research" Description of Faculty Professional Responsibilities by Establishing a "Policy" Section regarding Scientific Misconduct (Approved)



Approved by the Faculty Senate
April 4, 2012


BE IT RESOLVED THAT: subject to the passage and approval of both this bill and its companion bill establishing a corresponding "procedures" section, Chapter 3, Section D 6 of the Faculty Handbook be amended by making the following changes to the existing content, thereby establishing a "policy" section (with the companion "procedures" to follow it in the Handbook):

so that the resulting Section D 6 of Chapter 3 read as follows:

Scientific Misconduct Policy


Science rests on a foundation of mutual trust. To an extraordinary degree, that trust is thoroughly justified. However, scientists are subject to all human frailties and temptations, including at times the temptation to engage in scientific misconduct. Though such misconduct is rare, once misconduct is detected, it must be dealt with quickly and forcefully in order to sustain the atmosphere of trust necessary for science. Not only must individual scientists behave in a trustworthy manner, scientists must also take collective responsibility for detecting, judging, and controlling scientific misconduct. This is not an easy task for an enterprise founded on integrity; trust must not be replaced with suspiciousness. However, when there is ample reason to suspect misconduct, that information should be brought to the attention of individuals responsible for assuring that scientists connected with their institution are behaving responsibly. To that end, Southeast Missouri State University has established a policy on scientific misconduct, has designated an officer responsible for receiving allegations of scientific misconduct, and has created a process for resolving such allegations.

A crucial element of any fair and effective policy on scientific misconduct is a process that will distinguish instances of genuine and serious misconduct from insignificant deviations from acceptable practices. The policy proposed in this document will allow such distinctions to be made in a manner that minimizes disruptiveness and protects the conscientious, honest scientist from false, trivial or mistaken accusations.



Misconduct includes fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.


An information-gathering and initial fact-finding to determine whether an allegation of misconduct warrants an investigation.


A formal examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine if an instance of misconduct has taken place. If misconduct is confirmed, the investigation should determine the seriousness of the offense and the extent of any adverse effects resulting from the misconduct.

Guiding Principles of This Policy

1. To maximize confidentiality for the respondent (the person accused of misconduct) during the full process and for the complainant (the person alleging misconduct).
2. To assure the respondent a fair hearing.
3. To minimize the number of individuals involved in the inquiry and investigative stages. 4. To follow and be consistent with the spirit of the guidelines published by the National Institutes of Health.

Approved by Faculty Senate, Bill 90-A-05 - April 4, 1990 Approved by Board of Regents - May 4, 1990 Reenacted with slight amendment by Faculty Senate Bill 12-A-XX approved by the Faculty Senate XXXX and by the Board of Regents XXXX


Action Date
Introduced to Senate 2/29/12
Second Senate Meeting 3/21/12
Faculty Senate Vote 4/4/12
President's Review 4/23/12
Board of Regents' Review 5/12/12
Posted to Faculty Handbook