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Procedures for Dealing With Allegations of Scientific Fraud

Procedures for dealing with allegations of scientific fraud are given below. We take this to mean conscious manipulation of laboratory results or other data with intent to mislead.

  1. Allegations of scientific fraud bearing on the work of natural sciences faculty are to be reported to the dean. The source of the allegation, who might be a laboratory assistant, human subject, or faculty colleague, should possess first-hand information, not merely rumor, sufficient to show “probable cause” that scientific misconduct involving fraud has occurred. It is the responsibility of the dean to establish the standing of the source of the allegation and to make a tentative judgment as to whether probable cause exists.
  2. The dean shall give timely notification to the faculty member(s) directly concerned and may then either a) decide that the charge is malicious, ill informed, or otherwise groundless, thus closing the matter; or b) decide that probable cause still exists that scientific fraud has occurred.
  3. In the event that probable cause still exists after the preliminary inquiry, the dean shall forward the allegation with supporting information to the vice president for academic affairs and shall inform the subject(s) of the allegation of this.
  4. The vice president for academic affairs shall then, with the advice of the dean, convene a committee of investigation (CI) on which the dean shall serve ex-officio. This CI shall be formally charged by the vice president for academic affairs to investigate and report on those allegations, and only those, stemming from the original information. The subject(s) of the allegations, or counsel, shall be provided with an opportunity to appear before the CI. The chair of the CI, who may not be the dean, shall be appointed by the vice president for academic affairs. The subject(s) shall receive information of the composition of the committee and its charge. 
  5. Upon receiving the report of the CI, the vice president for academic affairs shall forward it to the president of the college with his recommendations for action.