UMBC Campus Policies








The following policies were developed according to the University System of Maryland Policies on Misconduct in Scholarly Work (Approved by the Board of Regents, November 30, 1989).


Integrity in research and scholarly activities is the responsibility of the entire academic community. Scholars work in an environment in which there is an important sense of trust. Published material is assumed to have been obtained during an author's investigations. Falsification or fabrication of such data is intolerable. The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) is responsible for promoting academic practices that discourage scientific misconduct. It also is responsible for developing policies and procedures to address scientific misconduct and for providing the necessary education, training, and resources to all faculty and staff for dealing with allegations or other evidence of misconduct in scholarly work.

All members of UMBC, including faculty, staff, administrators and students share responsibility for developing and maintaining standards to assure the highest ethical conduct of research and detection of abuse of these standards. Fraud or misconduct in carrying out academic activities undermines the integrity of the educational system and the scientific enterprise, and erodes the public trust in the university community to conduct research and communicate results using the highest standards and ethical practices. This responsibility to prevent and detect misconduct, however, must be assumed without creating an atmosphere that discourages the openness and creativity which are vital to scholarship and the research enterprise.

Misconduct in scholarly work by any University System of Maryland employee is a breach of contract. Furthermore, misconduct in scholarly work by others associated with UMBC (e.g., graduate students, volunteer faculty or staff) will not be tolerated. UMBC considers such a breach adequate cause for termination of employment of faculty or staff.

The policies and procedures outlined below are intended to be consistent with the policies and guidelines on scholarly misconduct which were adopted by the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland in 1989 and shall be modified in the future as may be required to conform to those policies and guidelines. As discussed further in Part IV, these policies and procedures are also intended to bring UMBC into compliance with federal regulations applicable to allegations of misconduct related to research funded by the Public Health Service (PHS). In the event of any conflict between any provision of this policy and the federal regulations applicable to a specific case, the federal regulations shall be followed.

The UMBC policy derives from the "Model Policy and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Scientific Misconduct" published as an advisory document by the Office of Research Integrity in April, 1995, which may consulted for details, definitions and examples.

The policies and procedures outlined here apply to faculty, staff and graduate students, paid or unpaid, engaged in research, scholarly writing, and the creation of works of art. A copy of this policy shall be provided to all of those individuals. This policy is not intended to address administrative issues of an ethical nature which are covered by other policies; for example, discrimination, affirmative action, and conflicts of interests are covered by other University policies.

The scope of these scientific misconduct policy and procedures is not limited to matters related to externally sponsored research, but covers all research and scholarly activity, regardless of source of support.


Scientific misconduct involves any form of behavior which entails an act of deception whereby one's work or the work of others is misrepresented, and includes fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting or reporting research. Other terms such as research fraud, scholarly misconduct or research misconduct, are subsumed within the term scientific misconduct as defined below. Scientific misconduct is distinguished from honest error and from honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data that are inherent in the scientific process. Further, misconduct involves significant breaches of integrity which may take numerous forms such as, but not limited to, those outlined below:

A. Falsification of Data: Ranging from fabrication to deceptive selective reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or willful suppression and/or distortion of data.

B. Plagiarism: The appropriation of the language, ideas, or thoughts of another and representation of them as one's own original work.

C. Improprieties of Authorship: Improper assignment of credit, such as excluding others; misrepresentation of the same material as original in more than one publication; inclusion of individuals as authors who have not made a definite contribution to the work published; or submission of multi-authored publications without the concurrence of all authors.

D. Misappropriation of the Ideas of Others: An important aspect of scholarly activity is the exchange of ideas among colleagues. New ideas gleaned from such exchanges can lead to important discoveries. Scholars also acquire novel ideas during the process of reviewing grant applications and manuscripts. However, improper use of such information could constitute fraud. Wholesale appropriation of such material constitutes scientific misconduct.

E. Violation of Generally Accepted Research Practices: Serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing or carrying out research, improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biased results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results.

F. Material Failure to Comply with Federal Requirements Affecting Research: including but not limited to serious or substantial, repeated, willful violations involving the use of funds, care of animals, human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices including engineering research materials, or radioactive, biological or chemical materials.

G. Inappropriate Behavior in Relation to Misconduct: Including inappropriate accusation of misconduct; failure to report known or suspected misconduct; withholding or destruction of information relevant to a claim of misconduct and retaliation against persons involved in the allegation or investigation.

H. Deliberate Misrepresentation of Qualifications, Experience, or Research Accomplishments to advance the research program, to obtain external funding, or for other professional advancement.

I. Misappropriation of Funds or Resources: For example, misuse of funds for personal gain.


UMBC must undertake examination (as described below) of any allegation of scientific misconduct. In the inquiry and investigation which may follow, the institution should focus on the substance of the issues and be guided by the following imperatives: