Academic fraud is a threat to the intellectual integrity on which the advancement of knowledge depends. In recognition of the importance of the issues of academic fraud to on-going research and scholarship at the University of Chicago, two Committees on Academic Fraud have issued reports that discussed the issues and recommended a standing set of procedures for the investigation of charges. In September, 1996, the second Committee, chaired by Professor Franklin I. Gamwell, was appointed by Provost Geoffrey Stone. On March 17, 1998, the Council of the University Senate voted to accept this latter Committee’s report, replacing the earlier policy dated December, 1985.

The Gamwell Committee’s report recognizes that some federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the Public Health Service, have their own regulations and policies for investigations of scientific misconduct. In order to comply with those regulations, the University of Chicago policy added two significant additions to its procedures.

  • Section 1 requires that the more inclusive definition of “scientific misconduct” stipulated in the relevant regulations of the external funding institution shall be used to identify the scope of the procedures with respect to allegations involving academic work that is funded or proposed to be funded by that institution.
  • Section 3, which describes the initial Inquiry, stipulates that the administrative official who receives the initial charge shall immediately determine whether the academic work in question involves funding from an external institution that has its own regulations for investigations of this kind, and when, this is the case, the University’s procedure shall, if necessary, be supplemented in the manner that is required to make them consistent with those regulations. Section 3 also clarified the role of the Director of Research Administration as the point of contact with funding agencies, when such contact is necessary and appropriate.

Note: a section on Administrative Guidance was added (Aug. 1998) to the Policy. Anybody dealing with allegations of Academic Fraud should read this section carefully.

For information about specific misconduct policies of particular funding agencies, please see under Misconduct in Science/Research on Responsible Conduct of Research.