Research misconduct is a set of actions that call into question the scientific integrity of a body of work.

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The regulations (42 C.F.R. Part 93) define research misconduct as "fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. ... Misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion." 
  • Fabrication is defined as making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  • Falsification is defined as manipulating research materials, equipment or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research method or result is not accurately represented in the research record. 
  • Plagiarism is defined as the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. Plagiarism does not encompass disagreements over order of authorship, rights to publish, or the use of ideas among collaborators.

Reporting Allegations

Allegations involving possible misconduct in research should be brought to the attention of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation or Thomas Porro, Director of Research Integrity, 978-934-3207, as promptly as possible. You may also report an allegation of misconduct anonymously by calling 978-934-3100 (read more about the hotline). Calls to this line go to an on-campus phone extension that records the call with no identifying information, unless the caller chooses to leave information to identify him/herself.


Employees who report allegations of research misconduct will not be retaliated against. If an employee perceives that they are being retaliated against after reporting an allegations of research misconduct, the employee is referred to the appropriate office to file an administrative grievance procedure.

Records Retention   

The Director of Research Integrity maintains an electronic log of all hotline telephone calls, which is password protected. The log is kept confidential. 

Investigation Procedures   

The Director of Research Integrity will consult with the UMass Lowell Compliance Committee to determine the appropriate response to the complaint and investigate accordingly.