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Research Compliance

Promoting research integrity is a vital responsibility of Western Washington University both to maintain the integrity of the institution and to maintain the opportunity to continue to receive grant funding. The requirements for responsible conduct of research are established by federal regulations, university policy, professional self-regulation, and personal integrity.

    There are some shared values that bind all researchers together:
  • Honesty – conveying information truthfully and honoring commitments,
  • Accuracy – reporting information precisely and taking care to avoid errors,
  • Efficiency – using resources wisely and avoiding waste, and
  • Objectivity – letting the facts speak for themselves and avoiding improper bias.

Steneck, N. H. (2007). Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. Office of Research Integrity.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

Both National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) require Responsible Conduct of Research training for all Principal Investigators, staff, and students paid by grant money. Please see our Training Page for more information.

Definition of Research Misconduct

  • a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community;
  • the misconduct committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly (misconduct does not include honest error or differences in opinion);
  • the allegation is proven by a preponderance of evidence

Types of Research Misconduct

  • Fabrication: Making up data or results and reporting them.
  • Falsification: Manipulation 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: The appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
  • Willful failure to comply with federal, state, or university requirements for
    • protecting researchers, involved research employees, and/or engaged students,
    • human subjects and the public during research and
    • the humane treatment of animals in research.
  • Misuse of university resources: Use of university resources such as research funds, facilities, faculty, staff, or students for unauthorized and/or illegal activities.

Reporting Research Misconduct

Individuals with knowledge, concerns, or evidence of research misconduct must promptly report it to the Dean of the person suspected to have committed research misconduct OR to a Research Integrity Officer at or (360)650-3082.

Responses to reports will follow the Addressing Responsible Conduct of Research policy and procedure listed above.

Concerns may be submitted anonymously, however the policy prevents retaliation so the complainant should not fear repercussions of contacting the Research Integrity Officer with concerns. Research integrity is vital to the mission of Western Washington University and all allegations will be taken seriously.

Policy and Procedure

Addressing Responsible Conduct of Research Policy

Addressing Responsible Conduct of Research Procedure