Ethical Conduct of Research


The RIO oversees research integrity, compliance, misconduct, conflict management, and all elements of conducting research in an ethical and appropriate manner as per federal, state and institutional regulations.

WCM Research Integrity Policy

Research integrity is defined as:

  • The use of honest and verifiable methods in proposing, performing, and evaluating research;
  • Reporting research results with particular attention to adherence to rules, regulations, and guidelines; and,
  • Following commonly accepted professional codes or norms.

The WCM Research Misconduct Policy can be found below.

Research Misconduct

Under WCM's Research Integrity Policy,  research misconduct is defined as scientific misconduct and other conduct that seriously deviates from acceptable research practices, as explained below.

Scientific misconduct is generally defined as any act that violates the standards of integrity in proposing, performing or reviewing research or in reporting research results. Such acts include, but are not limited to:

  • Fabrication means the making up of data or results and recording or reporting them.
  • Plagiarism means the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit.
  • Falsification means the manipulation of research materials, equipment or processes or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record. 

Other conduct that seriously deviates from acceptable research practices.  Examples of conduct that seriously deviates from acceptable research practices include: 

  • Abuse of Confidentiality means misuses of confidential information or failure to maintain the confidentiality of such information, e.g., “stealing” of information obtained through review of research proposals, manuscripts, etc.
  • Violation of pertinent federal or institutional regulations, ethical codes, policies or procedures, e.g. those involving the protection of human subjects and the welfare of laboratory animals or the retention of records.
  • Aiding or Facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others.
  • Breaches of research integrity other than those enumerated above that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted in the research community for proposing, conducting, reviewing or reporting research. 

Research misconduct may also occur if an investigator is aware or recklessly disregards that members of his/her lab or in another lab are engaging in prohibited activities and does not take action to report such activities. To that end, Laboratory directors and scientific leaders must accept special responsibility for the appropriate supervision and teaching of other staff and students, and ultimately must assume responsibility for the validity of all research communications emanating from their laboratories.  Carefully recorded experimental protocols and methods are strong deterrents to research misconduct.  It is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure that records are maintained to adequately document the work performed.

Honest error or honest differences in interpretation or judgment of data are not regarded as research misconduct.

Reporting Misconduct

To have an anonymous confidential conversation regrading questions concerning research misconduct you can contact the RIO or you may contact Cornell University’s Ethics point hotline or website:

EthicsPoint hotline: (866) 293-3077
EthicsPoint website:                                                                                                                          Office email:

General Inquiries

If you have any questions, you may contact the Research Integrity Office at

Ethical Conduct of Research Course

All WCM Academic staff must take the Ethical Conduct of Research (ECR) training course within 60 days of joining WCM. The training must be renewed every five years.

Click here to download instructions on finding the ECR course in the Learning Management System.

Responsible Conduct of Research Course for Post Doctoral Trainees and Graduate Students

The purpose of this course is to heighten the awareness of trainees to ethical considerations relevant to the conduct of research; Inform trainees of federal, state, and institutional policies, regulations and procedures applicable to the ethical conduct of research; and provide trainees with the opportunity to discuss, in a relatively informal setting, with senior faculty and among their peers, the implications of these policies and procedures for their own behavior in a research environment.

Undue Foreign Influence On Research Integrity

OSRA has developed resources to help walk you through the intricacies of foreign collaborations.

Click here to go to WCM’s Foreign Influence Tools and Resources.

Policies and Forms



No FAQs available.


July 5, 2022: On July 11, 2022, two updated University-wide policies will come into effect for all WCM faculty, staff, and students. The policies are Policy 4.21, Research Data Retention, and Policy 4.22, Export and Import Control Compliance. Click here for full memo.

Office Contacts

Thomas H. Blair, JD
Chief Research Compliance Officer, Research Integrity Officer
(646) 962-2100