Research Misconduct

Conducting research responsibly

Indiana University takes a strong, proactive approach to preserving research integrity and preventing research misconduct. 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 appropriating another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

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Research misconduct is …

  • when there is a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community
  • when a person committed the misconduct intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly
  • when the allegation is proven by a preponderance of the evidence

Research misconduct is not …

  • disputes regarding honest error or good faith differences in interpretations or judgments of data
  • authorship disputes such as complaints about the appropriate ranking of co-authors, unless the dispute constitutes plagiarism

Report a Concern

If you have reason to believe that research misconduct occurred, Indiana University recommends an informal meeting with a Research Integrity Officer to discuss your concerns. The officer is responsible for assessing research misconduct claims, determining when the research claim needs to move into an Inquiry for fact-finding purposes, and ensuring that the policy and procedures are followed.

Contact Research Integrity Officer Shelley Bizila at or call 317-274-5524.

If you prefer to report a research compliance concern to Indiana University anonymously, you may do so using an online EthicsPoint form or by calling 888-236-7542.

What happens at IU when an allegation of research misconduct is received?

It must be proven that a researcher:

  • Had research records and intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly destroyed them
  • Had the opportunity to maintain the records but did not do so or maintained the records and failed to produce them in a timely manner
  • Significantly departed from accepted practices of the relevant research community

An allegation of research misconduct triggers the procedures described by the IU Policy on Research Misconduct. An allegation is followed by an inquiry to determine if an investigation is warranted. An investigation examines all relevant facts to determine whether research misconduct occurred, and, if so, who the responsible person is and the seriousness of the misconduct.

A Deciding Official determines whether research misconduct is substantiated by the findings and will determine appropriate actions to be taken.

The U.S. government’s Office of Research Integrity (ORI) oversees and directs a wide range of research integrity activities on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. ORI is informed when allegations of research misconduct are reported, in accordance with the IU policy on research misconduct.


Shelley Bizila, MS, CIP, CCEP

  • Director & Research Integrity Officer
  • Email:
  • Phone: 317-274-5524

Amy Waltz, JD

  • Associate Director & Deputy Research Integrity Officer
  • Email:
  • Phone: (317) 278-5431

Leslie Albers

  • Research Integrity Project Manager
  • Email:
  • Phone: 317-278-7122

Research Integrity Office Email


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