Research Misconduct   

Research Misconduct

The Office of Research Compliance oversees and administers the Policy on Research Misconduct. The Director, is a resource for anyone with concerns or questions about possible research misconduct. 

HMH 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).

Type of Research Misconduct



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


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.


The appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit.

If You Have a Concern

  • Discuss with a trusted chair, supervisor or other official
  • Contact Director of Research Compliance, Dr. Michelle Benson
  • Anonymous reporting via HMH’s ComplyLine

Retaliation of any kind, against those who report a concern in good faith is not tolerated by HMH. 


HMH Procedures

These are the main stages following an allegation of research misconduct. Each case is unique and not every case may follow each of these stages.

1. Allegation received. An initial review (pre-inquiry) is conducted to ensure the allegation is sufficiently credible and meets the definition of research misconduct

2. Inquiry. Reviews the allegation to determine if investigation is warranted. 

3. Investigation. A review of the factual record to resulting in either a finding of misconduct or dismissal. 

4. Adjudication. Finding of Research Misconduct accepted, rejected or modified by Research Institutional Official (Chief Research Officer)

A finding of research misconduct must meet three prerequisites:

  • There has been a significant departure from accepted practices in the relevant research community;
  • Research Misconduct has been committed intentionally, knowingly or recklessly; and
  • The Allegation is proven by a preponderance of the Evidence.

HMH is committed to ensuring confidentiality when investigating allegations of misconduct. Including:

1. Limiting the disclosure of the identity of the identity of Respondents and Complainants to those who need to know in order to carry out a through, competent, objective and fair Research Misconduct proceeding; and 

2. Expectations as otherwise prescribed by law, limit the disclosure of any records or Evidence from which Research subjects might be identified to those who need to know in order to carry out a Research Misconduct proceeding. Written confidentiality agreements or other mechanisms will be issued to ensure that the recipient does not make any further disclosure of identifying information. Confidentiality requirements are also extended to witnesses and other Institutional individuals (such as committee members) that may be involved in the Research Misconduct proceedings. Inappropriate dissemination of information related to Research Misconduct proceedings may result in sanctions up to and including termination.

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