How to Report Research Misconduct

Science cannot work if scientists conduct themselves poorly.  Researchers bear a responsibility to the discipline to report something that is wrong.  You should document and report questionable research practices when:

  • Criminal action is involved;
  • Research misconduct has occurred;
  • Physical injury or loss of life could result; and/or,
  • Facilities, equipment, or materials and resources are at risk.

When reporting research  misconduct, try to gather irrefutable evidence, such as a figure before it was manipulated and then the manipulated figure, email correspondence, or original lab notes along with back-up copies.  It is helpful to have a trusted person corroborate evidence.  Make any claim of misconduct professionally and completely with the understanding that there are protections for the complainant.  However, reprisals against whistleblowers can still occur in ways that are hard to enforce. For more information see the UNM Policy on Whistle Blowing.

UNM Faculty Handbook Policy E:40 defines research misconduct to include plagiarism, falsification, and fabrication in connection with UNM scientific research.  For allegations concerning academic plagiarism or other academic misconduct, not involving UNM scientific research activity, please go to http://grad.unm.edu/aire/academic-integrity.html.

Mechanisms for reporting research misconduct in connection with UNM scientific research activity:

*Anonymous claims and allegations can be made through EthicsPoint or by calling (505) 277-1502 and blocking the caller's number.  A caller who wishes to stay anonymous can block his/her number by pressing STAR 67 (*67) and then dialing the number, that is, by pressing: *67277-1502.  For long distance calls, blocking can be accomplished by pressing: *6715052771502.  If a mobile phone is used to report alleged misconduct, it is necessary to check with the mobile service carrier to determine whether *67 is an effective method to block the caller's number or if there is a better method.  Anonymous claimants who wish to provide supporting information as hard copies can arrange for mailing the relevant materials or their hand-delivery to 1805 Sigma Chi Rd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131.  Supporting documentation needs to be provided as soon as possible after the phone call.

For more information on reporting research misconduct, see: