It is a fundamental responsibility of all the members of the University community to maintain the trust of the public in all research, scholarly, and creative activity, hereinafter referred to as research. All members of our University community share the responsibility to assure that misconduct in research is dealt with in a timely and effective manner, and that the reputation of the University for high standards of research integrity is preserved.
University personnel assure quality and integrity in their research and publications primarily by self-regulation, adherence to professional standards and ethical codes, and reference to the traditions and collegiality that characterize research institutions. Many professional associations have ethical codes and guidelines for the conduct of research; University personnel are expected to comply with such standards. Violations of professional standards and ethical codes and guidelines are a matter for peer review and censure; in some instances, they may become grounds for University disciplinary action as well.
University personnel in leadership or supervisory positions also have a special obligation to foster research integrity in their relationships and in their work. By virtue of their positions, they are mentors. It is their duty to exercise supervisory responsibility through examples of fastidious compliance with ethical standards.
This document articulates University policy on integrity in research and prescribes procedures for impartial fact-finding and fair adjudication of allegations of research misconduct. Although it focuses upon deterring and penalizing misconduct, its purpose is to promote compliance with the highest scholarly standards.
A variety of practices exist within the University for addressing questions and controversies that may arise concerning the conduct of research. Some questions can be handled by reasoned discussion or mediation at the level of the University organization closest to the persons involved. It is nevertheless incumbent upon a university both to articulate its policies on research and to provide effective procedures for institutional treatment of incidents of research misconduct that cannot be handled satisfactorily by mediation or other University processes.
University personnel in leadership or supervisory positions have a responsibility to consult with the Research Integrity Officer (see section II.C) whenever questions arise; to protect whistleblowers and adhere to Policy 1.15 Whistleblower policy; and to maintain confidentiality in discussions and mediation to the extent possible.
II. General Provisions
- Coverage - This policy includes all individuals engaged in research under the auspices of Illinois State University or as an agent for Illinois State University. These individuals may include: administrators, faculty, university staff, and other University agents or collaborators who are engaged in research. Graduate and undergraduate students are included in this policy if the alleged misconduct is related to research (such as University employment or involvement in a University sponsored research project) not solely related to the student's own coursework. In this policy, the person against whom an allegation is made will be referred to as the Respondent and the person bringing the allegations will be referred to as the Initiator.
- Oversight Authority - The Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (AVPRGS) has primary responsibility for fostering research integrity and for disseminating information about integrity in research practices and activities.
- Research Integrity Officer - The AVPRGS will appoint a Research Integrity Officer (RIO) who will be primarily responsible for the correct observance of the policies and procedures set forth in this document. A RIO will be a tenured faculty member or an administrative officer who is well qualified to deal with procedural requirements and is sensitive to the varied demands to which those who conduct research must respond.
- Confidentiality - All persons involved in administering these procedures - including any informal attempts at resolution - will make diligent efforts to protect the academic reputations and positions of persons who in good faith report suspected misconduct in research and persons against whom are made allegations that are determined to be unfounded. All of the procedures and the identities of those involved should be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. Protection of confidentiality does not preclude disclosures that are necessary in the process of handling allegations of misconduct, are in the public interest, or are a component of disciplinary actions and/or other appropriate action in the resolution of allegations of misconduct.
- Academic Freedom - It shall be a prime concern of all persons who implement this policy and these procedures to protect the principles of academic freedom and tenure that are fundamental to the academic enterprise. Academic freedom affords no license for misconduct in the research activities described in section III.
- Malicious Charges - Bringing unfounded charges motivated by malice constitutes a violation of the purposes and standards for ethical conduct that underlie this document. Where relevant, the Inquiry Team's Report and the Investigation Panel's Report (see sections IV.D. and IV.F) each will state explicitly whether there was a reasonable basis in fact and honest belief for making charges. If either report should determine that the making of the original charges or the testimony of any person was maliciously motivated, that finding shall be communicated to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (Provost) who will determine whether further review is necessary.
III. Definition of Misconduct
Misconduct in research includes fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scholarly community for proposing, conducting, disseminating, or reporting research. Honest error or honest differences in interpretation or judgments of data do not fall under this definition. Misconduct or fraud in research endeavors may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment under appropriate University procedures. Such serious offenses include the following:
- Fabrication of Data: dishonesty in reporting results, ranging from fabrication of data, improper adjustment of results, and gross negligence in collecting or analyzing data to selective reporting or omission of conflicting data for deceptive purposes.
- Plagiarism: taking credit for someone else's work and ideas, stealing others' results or methods, copying the writing of others without proper acknowledgment, or otherwise falsely taking credit for the work or ideas of another; or engaging in self-plagiarism as understood in the Respondent's field(s).
- Abuse of Confidentiality: taking or releasing the ideas or data of others which were shared with the legitimate expectation of confidentiality, e.g., stealing ideas from others' grant proposals, award applications, or manuscripts for publication when one is a reviewer for granting agencies or journals.
- Falsification in Research: deliberately misrepresenting research, or the progress of research; knowingly publishing, presenting or releasing material that will mislead audiences, manipulating or misrepresenting data, selective reporting or omission of conflicting data; purposeful omission of conflicting data with the intent to falsify results; adding the names of other authors without permission; misrepresenting of any information included in grant proposals.
- Deliberate Violation of Regulations: flagrant or repeated failure to adhere to or to secure the required approval for work under research regulations of Federal, State, local or University agencies, including, but not limited to, guidelines for: protection of human subjects; protection of animal subjects; use of recombinant DNA; use of radioactive material; use of hazardous chemicals or biologicals; conduct of classified research.
- Property Violations: stealing or intentionally destroying the research-related property of others, such as research papers, supplies, equipment, data, or products of research or scholarship.
- Retaliation: taking punitive action against an individual who reported alleged serious integrity in research offenses.
- Failure to Report Observed Offenses: covering up or otherwise failing to report known offenses or breaches of research ethics by those persons covered in section II.A that one has observed. It is the responsibility of members of the research community to avoid such misconduct in their own research efforts and to report serious violations to University authorities according to the procedures outlined in this document.
The procedure for handling allegations of misconduct in research is separated into two stages: an Inquiry to determine whether there is sufficient credible evidence to justify an investigation; and, in those instances in which the Inquiry yields sufficient evidence, an Investigation to make definitive findings of fact and reach conclusions as to whether a Respondent has committed research misconduct.
Procedural Responsibility of Research Integrity Officer (RIO) - The RIO will have primary responsibility for compliance with procedures and notice requirements mandated by applicable laws and regulations or by external sponsors of research. The RIO also will assist Inquiry Teams, Investigating Panels, and all University personnel to comply with these procedures and with applicable standards imposed by government or external funding sources, including any administrative, investigative, due process, or hearing requirements that may be required with respect to a particular external funding source. During the course of an Inquiry and an Investigation, the RIO will provide information about the status of the proceedings to, and respond to inquiries from the appropriate individual(s) (e.g. Department Chairperson/School Director; Principal Investigator of a sponsored project), the Respondent, and the funding agency (if applicable).
The RIO will maintain a file of all documents and evidence, and is responsible for the confidentiality and the security of the file. All information and items furnished will be made available to any Inquiry Team or Investigation Panel that may be appointed.
- Conflict of Interest - Federal regulations, state laws and University policies recognize that researchers may have financial and other types of interests in research sponsors and/or in entities with business interests closely related to their research. The term "conflict of interest in research" refers to situations in which financial, familial or other personal considerations may compromise, or have the appearance of biasing a researcher's professional judgment in designing, conducting or reporting research. If any administrator or other involved party has a conflict of interest that impacts the ability of the individual to serve on an Inquiry Team, Investigation Panel or in another role, that individual will be replaced for that case. A person who has such a conflict is responsible for informing the RIO; if the RIO has such a conflict, the RIO will inform the AVPRGS. The Provost will assign responsibilities to a Dean or appropriate unit supervisor, in cases involving central administration personnel.
Obligations and Rights of the Respondent During Formal Proceedings. The obligations and rights of the Respondent during these proceedings include:
- The obligation of full cooperation in providing and preserving information and materials relevant to the Inquiry of the allegations.
- The obligation to refrain from retaliation against the Initiator.
- The right to submit an Agreed Statement of Facts during the Inquiry.
- (1)The right to receipt of written notice of the identity of the persons appointed to the Inquiry Team and Investigation Panel once appointed. (2) The right to challenge any Inquiry Team or Investigation Panel member within five (5) business days of notice of the member's appointment.
- Should the matter proceed to Investigation, the right to receipt of a written statement of the Investigation Panel's charge (the focus of the Investigation). If additional information emerges during the Investigation the Respondent shall be informed promptly in writing.
- The right of the Respondent to obtain private legal counsel and/or be accompanied by an advisor/counsel of choice at any interview or hearing for the sole purpose of providing advice to the Respondent. The role of the Respondent's advisor/counsel is nonparticipatory. The Respondent may not consider University legal counsel as their individual advisor or private legal counsel for proceedings under this Policy. The Respondent must inform the RIO of the intent to be accompanied by legal counsel. The presence of legal counsel at these meetings without sufficient notice may trigger a postponement of the meeting.
- The right to review and respond to the Inquiry Report and to the Investigation Panel Report.
- Expedition; Procedural Changes - All procedures prescribed in this document should be conducted expeditiously. After consultation with the RIO and the Respondent (if feasible),for good cause the Provost may extend any of the time periods and may make other reasonable alterations of the procedures set forth in this policy, provided that the changes do not infringe upon a Respondent's rights or impair the ability to defend.
B. Initiation of Formal Procedures
Any member of the University community who becomes aware of misconduct in research is obligated to report the incident or practice, and provide all relevant information or evidence. Any member of the University community who is dissatisfied with the informal local resolution of an allegation of misconduct in research activity may also request initiation of formal procedures. The report may be made to the Chair, Director, or appropriate supervisor of the unit in which the person alleged to have committed the misconduct (that is, the Respondent) holds principal appointment, or to the RIO. The individual that received the report will formally notify the other parties (Chair, Director, or unit supervisor), in writing (including email), within one (1) business day of receiving the report of the allegation. In addition to reports received, if the RIO becomes aware of misconduct situations that may be in violation of this policy, the RIO shall refer the matter to an appropriate University official to determine if formal procedures under this policy should be initiated.
- Transmission of Report of Allegation. Unless the Chair, Director or appropriate unit supervisor in which the person alleged to have committed the misconduct determines that a report or allegation of misconduct in research is clearly frivolous or mistaken, or should be referred to another body (for example, Academic Freedom, Ethics, and Grievance Committee (AFEGC), University Hearing Panel in Student Conduct and Community Responsibilities (SCCR)), the Chair, Director or appropriate unit supervisor, with the assistance of the RIO, will bring the matter to the attention of the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor within ten (10) business days.
Inquiry Decision. Within ten (10) business days after the matter has been brought to the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor's attention by the RIO, the individual, after consultation with the RIO and the appropriate Chair, Director or appropriate unit supervisor, will determine whether there is sufficient credible evidence to warrant an Inquiry. If an Inquiry is warranted, the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor will inform the RIO to proceed with an Inquiry as described in section IV.C. The RIO will notify the Respondent, in writing, of the allegations and of the Respondent's rights and obligations.
If the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor decides that there is not sufficient credible evidence to warrant an Inquiry, that individual may either dismiss the allegations entirely or resolve the matter informally. An allegation that has been informally resolved or has been dismissed by the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor is considered complete. The Dean's or appropriate unit supervisor's decision may be appealed once within ten (10) business days to the AVPRGS, whose decision shall be final. At this point the matter may be referred to other campus constituencies responsible for appropriate action. The RIO will notify all parties in writing (including the Respondent, and all persons who have been interviewed or otherwise informed of the charge) of the nature and disposition of the allegation and include a request to Human Resources and the unit to remove any reference from the individual's personnel file, unless further proceedings are ongoing.
- Interim Administrative Action. At any time after an allegation of research misconduct has been made and before final disposition of the case, the RIO or the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor, with the approval of the Provost or appropriate University official, may take interim administrative action required to protect the health and safety of research subjects or patients, to protect the interests of students and colleagues, to preserve evidence, or to protect resources. Any interim action should be devised and taken so as to create minimal interference with the regular activities of the Respondent and others, and in accord with University policies and procedures.
- Criminal Activities. If any criminal activity is suspected during a research integrity Inquiry or Investigation, appropriate notifications to applicable law enforcement or oversight authorities shall be made by the RIO or other involved parties; however, the Inquiry or Investigation should not be suspended, unless requested by law enforcement.
- Termination of University Employment. The termination of University employment of the Respondent, by resignation or otherwise, after initiation of procedures under the Policy may not terminate misconduct procedures, unless by agreement of the Provost and the Respondent. Inquiries and Investigations may be conducted, and appropriate internal and external notifications of the proceedings and their outcomes will be made.
The purpose of an Inquiry is to determine whether there is sufficient credible evidence of research misconduct to warrant an Investigation.
- Appointment of Inquiry Team - If the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor decides that an Inquiry should be conducted, the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor, in consultation with the RIO, will appoint an Inquiry Team consisting of three (3) individuals who have no conflicts of interest in the case, are unbiased, and have appropriate qualifications to serve on the Inquiry Team within twenty (20) business days of the Dean's decision to proceed to Inquiry. This timeline can be extended by the AVPRGS should circumstances warrant an extension. Whenever feasible, the Inquiry Team shall consist of one (1) faculty member or academic professional from the unit in which the Respondent holds a primary appointment, or in which the activitiy in question has been conducted; and one (1) faculty member or academic professional from elsewhere within the University. For the third member, the Dean or appropriate Unit supervisor may appoint a faculty member from elsewhere in the University. In all cases, the Inquiry Team shall include at least one (1) faculty member. Any exception to the designated composition of the Inquiry Team shall be made only for good cause and with the approval of the Provost.
- Notification of Respondent - Once the Inquiry Team has been appointed, the RIO shall notify the Respondent regarding the members of the Inquiry Team and remind the Respondent of the opportunity to challenge. The Inquiry Team will receive a copy of this notification.
Challenge - To challenge the appointment of any Inquiry Team member, including replacement Inquiry Team members, the Respondent must deliver a written objection to the RIO within five (5) business days of the written notification of the appointment of any Inquiry Team member, that any of the persons appointed to the Inquiry Team fails to meet the criteria stated in section IV.C.1. The RIO shall communicate the challenge to the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor. If the objection is reasonable, the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor has twenty (20) business days to replace the challenged person with another person who meets the stated criteria.
The decision of the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor whether the challenge is reasonable shall be final. The RIO will notify the Respondent of the decision.
If at any time the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor becomes aware that a member of that Inquiry Team does not meet the criteria stated in section IV.C.1, that person may replace the member within twenty (20) business days.
- Agreed Statement of Facts - At any point after receipt of the notification of the allegations and prior to the submission of the Inquiry Report, the Respondent may submit a written statement to the Inquiry Team that the Respondent agrees with the facts alleged. The Inquiry Team may either continue its Inquiry or recommend an Investigation in lieu of continuation of the Inquiry. The Agreed Statement of Facts may serve as the Inquiry Report at the discretion of the Inquiry Team.
- RIO Assistance to Inquiry Team - Once the Inquiry Team is finalized, the RIO will communicate the allegations to the Inquiry Team. The RIO should advise the Inquiry Team during the initial inquiry, review the allegations, and describe appropriate procedures for conducting the Inquiry. The RIO should be present throughout the Inquiry to advise the Inquiry Team. The RIO cannot be a member of the Inquiry Team.
D. The Inquiry Report
- Time Limit for Inquiry Report. The Inquiry Team shall complete the Inquiry and submit its Report in writing no more than twenty (20) business days after the challenge interval is completed. If the AVPRGS approves an extension of the Report time limit, the reason for the extension will be entered in the Report, and the Respondent will be notified of the extension.
- Contents of Inquiry Report. The Report of the Inquiry Team shall be drafted with the assistance of the RIO. The Report shall contain both findings of fact and descriptions of the evidence upon which the findings are based. The Report will also contain recommendations as to whether there is sufficient credible evidence of misconduct to warrant a full-scale Investigation. If the Report recommends that an Investigation be conducted, it may propose subject matter to be included in the Investigation.
- Distribution of Inquiry Report. The Report will be delivered by the Inquiry Team to the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor and to the RIO. The RIO will deliver a copy of the Report to the AVPRGS and to the Respondent and will retain a copy for the file.
- Comment by Respondent. The Respondent may, within ten (10) business days of receipt of a copy of the Report, file written comments on the Report with the AVPRGS.
Decision by AVPRGS. Within ten (10) business days after the Respondent's comment period has ended, the AVPRGS, in consultation with a) the Dean; b) the Chair, Director, or appropriate unit supervisor; c) the Inquiry Team; and d) the RIO, shall determine whether to 1) conduct an Investigation; 2) dismiss the case; or 3) take other appropriate action.
If the AVPRGS decides that the matter is to be dismissed and not to be pursued further, the RIO will notify all parties in writing (including all persons who have been interviewed or otherwise informed of the charge) of the disposition of the Inquiry and include a request to Human Resources and the unit to remove any reference to the matter from the individual's personnel file.
If the AVPRGS decides that an Investigation shall be conducted, the RIO will notify the Respondent in writing to remind them of their obligations and the rights of the Respondent. Also, the RIO will notify appropriate campus administrators, including the President, the Provost, the Dean, and the Chair, Director or supervisor of the unit in which the Respondent holds primary appointment; appropriate collaborators of the Respondent in the work; appropriate external funding agencies; and appropriate governmental offices.
The purpose of an Investigation is to make an official determination by a preponderance of the evidence as to whether the alleged misconduct did occur, and to consider disciplinary actions and/or other appropriate actions if the finding is affirmed.
- Focus of the Investigation. The AVPRGS, after reviewing the Report of the Inquiry Team, shall define the focus of the Investigation in a written charge to the Investigation Panel. If during the Investigation, additional information that changes the focus of the Investigation should come to the attention of the Panel, the Investigation Panel will notify the AVPRGS. The AVPRGS will determine whether the Investigation Panel should continue its investigation with the original focus or with altered focus or whether to initiate a new Investigation based upon the altered focus.
- Appointment of Investigation Panel. Within twenty (20) business days after the Respondent has been notified that an Investigation will be conducted, the AVPRGS, after consulting with the RIO, shall appoint an Investigation Panel consisting of persons who have no conflicts of interest in the case, are unbiased persons, and have appropriate qualifications to serve on the Investigation Panel. A Panel shall consist of three (3) persons. A Panel for a tenure-track or tenured faculty Respondent shall consist of three (3) tenure-track and/or tenured faculty members, including one (1) faculty member from the Respondent’s unit, one (1) faculty member from elsewhere in the University, and whenever feasible, one (1) faculty member from outside the University. A Panel for any other individual Respondent shall include one (1) individual from the unit in which the Respondent holds primary appointment, one (1) faculty member from elsewhere in the University, and whenever feasible, one (1) peer professional (faculty or otherwise) from outside the University. No member of the Inquiry Team may serve on the Investigation Panel. The University faculty member who is not from the unit in which the Respondent holds primary appointment will chair the Investigation Panel.
- Notification to Respondent. Once the Investigation Panel is appointed, the RIO will provide written notice to the Respondent articulating the focus of the Investigation, naming the Investigation Panel members, and reiterating the right to challenge.
- Challenge. To challenge an appointment of any Investigation Panel member including any replacement members, on the grounds that the person does not meet the criteria stated in section IV.E.2., the Respondent must deliver a written objection to the RIO within five (5) business days of the written notification of the appointment, for transmission to the AVPRGS. If the objection is reasonable, the AVPRGS shall replace the person with one who meets the stated criteria.
The decision of the AVPRGS whether the challenge is reasonable shall be final. The RIO will notify the Respondent of the decision.
If at any time, the AVPRGS becomes aware that a panelist does not meet the criteria for membership of the Investigation Panel or presents a conflict of interest as defined in section IV.A.2., the AVPRGS may replace that person with an appropriate member who meets the stated criteria.
- RIO Assistance to Investigation Panel. During the initial review of the allegations, the RIO should advise the Investigation Panel of the report of the Inquiry Team, the focus of the Investigation, and the prescribed procedures. The RIO should be present at all meetings throughout the Investigation to advise the Investigation Panel as to available and appropriate investigatory methods, to assure procedural compliance, and to provide staff support to the Investigation Panel. The RIO cannot be a member of the Investigation Panel.
F. Report of the Investigation Panel
Contents of the Investigation Panel Report. Within ninety (90) business days after the Investigation Panel is finalized, the Investigation Panel through the RIO shall present its Report in writing to the AVPRGS and the Respondent. In exceptional circumstances, the Investigation Panel may request from the AVPRGS a one-time extension of up to thirty (30) business days. The Report shall describe, in general terms, the investigative process. The Report shall make an explicit finding of fact with respect to each allegation included in the Investigation Panel's charge, and list the evidence relevant to that finding. The Report shall then state the Panel's conclusions as to whether, by a preponderance of evidence, any of the proven allegations constitutes research misconduct.
If the Investigation Panel’s Report concludes that one or more violations have been substantiated, the Report may recommend what disciplinary actions and/or other appropriate actions, if any, should be imposed upon the Respondent. Disciplinary actions recommended should be consistent with Faculty ASPT Policies or other applicable University Policy in accordance with the Respondent’s role within the University.
- Comments by the Respondent. The Respondent may submit written comments to the RIO within ten (10) business days of receipt of the Report. Any comments from the Respondent shall be transmitted by the RIO to the AVPRGS.
Appeal Process. The Respondent may appeal the Investigation Panel’s Report or recommendation within ten (10) business days after receiving the report. The written appeal will explain the basis for the appeal and must be submitted to the RIO for transmission to the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor along with a copy of the Report.
- Within ten (10) business days after receiving the appeal, the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor shall form an Appeals Committee (AC). The timeline for forming an AC may be extended by the AVPRGS should circumstances warrant. The AC shall be comprised of three (3) members in accordance with the guidelines in section IV.E.2. and shall include no members of the Inquiry Team or the Investigation Panel.
- Within fifteen (15) business days after the AC is finalized, the AC shall submit to the AVPRGS a report either affirming the Investigation Panel's recommendation or making an alternate recommendation, along with the Respondent's written appeal.
- Transmission of Report to the Provost. After any appeal process is complete, the AVPRGS shall transmit to the Provost the Investigation Panel's Report, the comments of the Respondent, any written appeal and the AC's Report, along with the AVPRGS’s recommendations within five (5) business days.
Action by the Provost. The Provost, after consultation with the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor and the AVPRGS, shall determine what disposition to make of the case. The Provost shall communicate the determination to the Respondent, the AVPRGS, and the RIO within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the report.
If the Provost determines that the allegations have not been proven, the RIO will notify all parties (including all persons who have been interviewed or otherwise informed of the charge) in writing of the disposition of the matter. The RIO will make a request to Human Resources and the department to remove any reference to the matter from the individual's personnel file.
If the Provost concurs with the Investigation Panel's conclusion that misconduct has been proven, the Provost will proceed in accordance with relevant University policies and procedures. The Provost may prescribe disciplinary actions and/or other appropriate actions responsive to the alleged misconduct. Any disciplinary action must be in line with the disciplinary articles within Faculty ASPT policies or other applicable University Policy in accordance with the Respondent's role within the University. The RIO shall notify the Dean or appropriate unit supervisor, and the Chair, Director, or appropriate unit supervisor of disciplinary actions imposed and/or other actions taken.
The Provost is the final adjudicator of all allegations of misconduct in research that arise at the campus level, subject only to an appeal to the President of the University on procedural grounds. Within ten (10) business days of receipt of written notification of the Provost's determination, the Respondent may appeal to the President of the University on the sole question of whether the procedures prescribed in this document have been followed correctly. The appeal must be filed in writing. The President shall issue a decision within twenty (20) business days. If the President grants the appeal, the President will issue a written decision with recommendations to address the identified procedural issue.
The Provost will, in accordance with applicable law, determine whether law enforcement agencies, professional societies, professional licensing boards, editors of journals in which deceptive reports may have been published, collaborators of the Respondent in the work, or other concerned parties should be notified of the outcome of a case. The RIO will be responsible for compliance with all requirements for notification of funding or sponsoring agencies. Notifications may also be made to relevant compliance committees (e.g., Institutional Review Board) or University units.
I. Disposition of File
After termination of a case and all ensuing related actions, the RIO shall prepare a complete file, including the original records of all proceedings conducted by the Inquiry Team and the Investigation Panel, and copies of all documents and other materials furnished to the RIO or to those bodies. The RIO shall seal the file and retain it for three (3) years. Access to the materials in the file shall be available only upon authorization of the Provost for good cause, such as court processes, legally binding demand by external agency, or the involvement of the same subject matter in subsequent Integrity in Research procedures initiated by or against the Respondent.
The RIO shall return all original documents and materials to the persons who furnished them, when and where appropriate. After three (3) years, the RIO will destroy the file unless the RIO makes an explicit written finding that there is good reason to retain the file. The RIO will indicate the period during which the file is to be maintained, and will enter that information in the file. The Respondent shall receive either a notice that the file has been destroyed, or a copy of the written finding that the file will be retained.