Butler Library

Research Misconduct


Columbia University is committed to ensuring the integrity of research conducted under its auspices and has put in place policies and procedures that define misconduct, outline the process for investigating allegations, and explain the consequences of committing misconduct.

The University’s Standing Committee on the Conduct of Research implements the Institutional Policy on Misconduct in Research ("Policy"). The Office of Research Compliance and Training helps administer the Policy and is a resource for anyone with concerns or questions about possible research misconduct.

The University defines research misconduct, in accordance with federal policy, as any fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research or in the reporting of research results. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion, authorship disputes that do not involve plagiarism, and violations of other University policies (e.g., sexual harassment policy).

Types of Research Misconduct

Fabrication: The making up of data or results and the recording or reporting thereof.

Falsification: The manipulation of research materials, equipment or processes, or the change or omission of 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. It is important to recognize that plagiarism may occur not only in published work, but also in presentations of your research, and in grant proposals.

The federal Office of Research Integrity (ORI) maintains details of recent Research Misconduct cases on its website.