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Research Integrity

Members of the Cornell University community are expected to perform their scholarly and scientific activities with honesty, to meet the highest ethical standards, and to respect the appropriate standards of evidence and the contributions and scholarship of others. The university will vigorously investigate allegations of research misconduct and research-related misconduct that contravene these expectations, taking all reasonable steps to protect the rights and interests of individuals whose work or performance is questioned. Research misconduct is defined by federal agencies. Research-related misconduct includes other unacceptable behaviors that Cornell has elected to prohibit that may appear in an academic environment. This policy closely adheres to the procedures for investigating research misconduct allegations required by federal agencies as a condition of federal funding. Misconduct (as defined herein), unless otherwise specified, means either research misconduct or research-related misconduct.

The search for truth underlies our academic values as an educational institution. Research misconduct and research-related misconduct on the part of any members of the Cornell community threaten and subvert the fundamental values of the university as a whole. Each member of the community is expected to promote high standards of integrity in interactions with other scholars, and to participate in review procedures and disciplinary actions as may be appropriate in the case of reported violations of these standards.

The discovery of new knowledge through research is a fundamental part of the life of the faculty at the university. The formulation of research objectives, the organization of research design, the mobilization of financial support, equipment, technological assistance, and space and time to perform the required investigations all require a strong effort and helpful cooperation from many people. The collection of vital research observations, their analysis and interpretation, and successful research publication are important steps in the dissemination of new knowledge.

The university’s research climate must encourage and support the intellectual integrity of researchers and must discourage any and all activities that might interfere with the integrity of these pursuits. Research misconduct and research-related misconduct in any form are serious threats to this endeavor, and threaten the integrity of the science, the investigator, and the university. Research misconduct is also prohibited under federal laws and regulations applicable to recipients of federal funding and can result in very large financial liabilities for the university. This policy asserts that research misconduct and research-related misconduct are prohibited by the university, regardless of funding source.

Policy details


Research Integrity Officer (information on Cornell Research Division website)

Revision History:

05/05/2021: Renamed to more clearly indicate policy scope is research misconduct (former policy name was "Academic Misconduct"). Updated policy to align with federal procedures, requirements, and definitions, and with Weill Cornell Medicine campus policies. Added preliminary allegation assessment stage and confidentiality clauses. Clarified roles, responsibilities, and processes for assessment and inquiry, investigation, decision, and appeal. Defined role of Research Integrity Officer.

02/04/2021: Fixed broken links.