Research Misconduct

A: Definitions of misconduct in research

The University of Wolverhampton is committed to maintaining the highest standards of ethics and integrity in its research and is committed to ensuring that all researchers should be able to pursue their work in an atmosphere free of prejudice and harassment.

1) Fabrication: This includes the creation of false data or other aspects of research, including documentation and participant consent.

2) Falsification: This includes the inappropriate manipulation and/or selection of data, imagery and/or

3) Plagiarism: This includes the general misappropriation or use of others’ ideas, intellectual property or work (written or otherwise), without acknowledgement or permission.

4) Misrepresentation: Including:

  • Misrepresentation of data, for example suppression of relevant findings and/or data, or knowingly, recklessly or by gross negligence, presenting a flawed interpretation of data;
  • Undisclosed duplication of publication, including undisclosed duplicate submission of manuscripts for publication;
  • Misrepresentation of interests, including failure to declare material interests either of the researcher or of the funders of the research;
  • Misrepresentation of qualifications and/or experience, including claiming or implying qualifications or experience which are not held;
  • Misrepresentation of involvement, such as inappropriate claims to authorship and/or attribution of work where there has been no significant contribution, or the denial of authorship where an author has made a significant contribution.

5) Mismanagement or inadequate preservation of data &/or primary materials: Including failure to:

  • keep clear and accurate records of the research procedures followed and the results obtained, including interim results;
  • hold records securely in paper or electronic form;
  • make relevant primary data and research evidence accessible to others for reasonable periods after completion of the research;
  • manage data according to the research funder’s data policy and all relevant legislation;
  • wherever possible, deposit data permanently within a national

6) Breach of duty of care, which involves deliberately, recklessly or by gross negligence:

  • disclosing improperly the identity of individuals or groups involved in research without their consent, or other breach of confidentiality
  • placing any of those involved in research in danger, whether as Respondents, participants or associated individuals, without their prior consent, and without appropriate safeguards even with consent; this includes reputational danger where that can be anticipated;
  • not taking all reasonable care to ensure that the risks and dangers, the broad objectives and the sponsors of the research are known to participants or their legal representatives, to ensure appropriate informed consent is obtained properly, explicitly and transparently;
  • not observing legal and reasonable ethical requirements or obligations of care for animal subjects, human organs or tissue used in research, or protection of the environment;
  • improper conduct in peer review of research proposals or results (including manuscripts submitted for publication); this includes failure to disclose conflicts of interest; inadequate disclosure of clearly limited competence; misappropriation of the content of material; and breach of confidentiality or abuse of material provided in confidence for peer review

7) Improper dealing with allegations of misconduct: failing to address possible infringements, such as attempts to cover up misconduct and reprisals against whistle-blowers, or failing to adhere appropriately to agreed procedures in the investigation of alleged research misconduct accepted as a condition of funding. Improper dealing with allegations of misconduct includes the inappropriate censoring of parties through the use of legal instruments, such as non-disclosure agreements

B: Investigating Allegations of Research Misconduct

The UK Research Councils require all Higher Education Institutions to demonstrate that there are agreed principles and procedures in place to deal with allegations of misconduct in research.

The University is responsible for monitoring all research and investigating any alleged misconduct.  Any investigation will be carried out promptly, independently and fairly, under the relevant