Quick Ref
Handbook Outline

Research Resources

Resources available to all academics conducting research at the University

Academic Fraud

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.

Audio and Video Recording on Campus

Public Lectures and Less Formal or Pedagogical Presentations

"Public" lectures or talks are to be distinguished from lectures that are either part of or closely associated with courses, workshops, or other organized instructional activities. Typically, "public" lectures will be those where the speaker presents in her professional role as a scholar or expert, rather than as a teacher. Public lectures also should be distinguished from settings in which it is customary to present work-in-progress: the kind of thing that might be marked, "Please do not quote." Thus, just because a lecture is advertised within a department does not make it public.

  • Lectures and Presentations by Guests: Units of the University that sponsor public lectures by invited outside speakers often record the lectures. Unless written permission has been obtained from the speakers, however, the sponsoring unit, and the University, will not have the right to distribute or disseminate these recordings. Without this right, these recordings have limited usefulness.Therefore, permission to record and to make use of the recording should be obtained using a permission form prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel and available here.
  • Lectures and Presentations by University Faculty Members and Academic Staff: The circulation or publication of the text of "public" lectures by University faculty or academic staff has long been considered normal and unproblematic; at the same time any reservation or refusal expressed by the presenter has always been respected. Consistent with this practice, public lectures by University faculty and staff may be recorded and used by the University, subject to University policy. The University may use for non-commercial purposes recordings of public lectures or presentations delivered by its employees within the scope of employment, even if copyright ownership is ceded to the author(s). Concomitantly, ONLY the University, acting through the appropriate University officials, has the right to make and use recordings of the faculty's public lectures on campus unless special arrangements are made with the University. In keeping with past practice, any reservation or refusal expressed by the faculty member should be respected.

Classroom Activity and Non-"Public" Lectures

Recording classroom activities or informal talks may be useful for some purposes. Units should be thoughtful about setting their own policies within the broad framework of University guidelines and expectations, to ensure that the act of recording does not impede expression or class participation and that the recording is not misused.

Members of the faculty may record, or have recorded, their own classes for their personal use or for the purpose of exchange with colleagues, e.g., for the purpose of developing or demonstrating pedagogical skills.

Instructors may permit a student to record a class session for the convenience of the student, for the benefit of another student who is unavoidably absent, or as part of an accommodation for a student with a disability. Students must understand that under University policy, permission given by a member of the faculty to record a class is limited to permission to record for personal use only. It is, for example, never permissible to copy, file-share, sell, distribute, or Web-serve such recordings. Members of the faculty who believe that their classes are being inappropriately recorded, or that recordings are being misused, should contact their Dean of Students.

The University may from time to time wish to record, preserve, or disseminate the exemplary work of distinguished colleagues in the classroom or lecture room. When the University undertakes to make recordings of this sort, it will secure appropriate permissions.

University policies do not permit members of the faculty to "publish" recordings of their classroom or lecture room efforts, or to grant to others the right to distribute recordings, in any medium, of teaching or lecturing undertaken in fulfillment of teaching assignments, without prior approval by the Provost. The University has a sufficient interest in the intellectual property (Statute 18 and New Technology policy) and in the University's reputation to justify its setting this limitation on what a member of the faculty may do. Moreover, there is a potential conflict of commitment: a teacher may feel some pressure to modify what or how he teaches to make it more marketable.

Recordings by Student Groups (RSO or Other Recognized Groups)

Recordings by student groups of University events, academic or non-academic, may be made only with the consent of a cognizant official of the University. RSO's should seek consent to record from the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities and other student groups (whether recognized or not) should seek permission from their dean of students. After permission has been given, the students are then responsible for securing appropriate permissions from performers, speakers, and participants. Such recordings and any derivatives made from them are the property of the University. Students may not copy, make derivatives from, distribute, or disseminate such recordings in any medium without the permission of the University. By longstanding policy, the University asserts no copyright in creative work such as film or video that is authored by students or student groups using resources normally available to them.

Copyright of Recordings

Recordings made at the University should be marked, "Copyright [date], The University of Chicago." While the copyright of the recording is in the name of the University, the author of the underlying recorded work retains all applicable rights to that work. As is the case with University publications, Web sites, and other similar properties, recordings should carry the copyright of the University and not the individual unit.

Legal Assistance

In general, the University expects faculty members and academic personnel to seek their own private counsel for legal advice. The University's Office of Legal Counsel is devoted entirely to University legal affairs. However, upon request, the staff of that office will attempt to offer guidance in the evaluation of particular problems and in finding private legal counsel where appropriate.


The University of Chicago is home to six libraries:

  • The John Crerar Library
  • The D'Angelo Law Library
  • The Eckhart Library
  • The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library
  • The Joseph Regenstein Library, and
  • The Social Service Administration Library

For information on the unique resources available across UChicago's six libraries, please visit the The University of Chicago Library site. 

Office of Research and National Laboratories

The Office of Research and National Laboratories provides guidance, central administrative support, and resources to UChicago researchers in their pursuit of new knowledge. For more information about this office and its relationship with Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, please visit the Office of Research and National Laboratories site.

Public Relations and Speaking to the Press

Favorable press coverage expands public knowledge of faculty and academic staff members' work, extending the university's mission of teaching, research and public service, and builds understanding and appreciation among people and groups important to the University, including funding agencies, faculty at other institutions, alumni, current and potential students and their families, legislators, and current and potential donors.

Often, the distribution of a news release from the University's News Office will encourage a reporter to contact the faculty or academic staff member. Such contact may take a few moments or, on major stories pursued by several news organizations, several hours. Some reporters understand the subject matter and are excellent interviewers; others are generalists or are inexperienced and may need considerable help to report accurately. In either case, media interviews often are necessary to serve the University and the public by providing thorough and accurate information.

Before the interview, faculty and academic staff members are advised to:

  1. Take down the reporter's name and news organization and ask what the topic will be and what questions the reporter will ask.
  2. Remember it is acceptable to decline an interview. It is best not to stonewall or use the words "no comment" these merely make reporters think there is something to hide. If someone else is a more knowledgeable or appropriate source, a faculty member may refer the reporter to that person.
  3. If caught off guard, say that it is inconvenient to talk right now and ask for the reporter's number to return the call shortly. You may then contact the News Office (773-702-8360) to discuss the best strategy.
  4. If the reporter and story seem legitimate, be helpful, frank and quick to respond to the request for an interview. A slow response allows what other interviewees say to shape the story in the reporter's mind.

During the interview, faculty and academic staff members are advised to:

  1. Assume everything said will be quoted, even if said in casual conversation or when the interview appears over.
  2. Give simple answers that cannot be misinterpreted. For guidance, feel free to call the News Office (773-702-8360).
  3. Remember that most audiences do not comprehend the diversity of views within a university; they perceive the institution, not the individual, speaking. Therefore it is best to avoid personal opinions when speaking for your colleagues, department or university. When giving opinions, particularly when discussing institutional issues or those involving controversy, it is best to make clear that you speak only for yourself.
  4. Have a few central points to make "one is best, three is maximum" clearly. One good approach is to say, "The two things everyone should understand are: One...".
  5. Speak to the reporter's audience, not just to the reporter, and explain what the information means to the public.
  6. Keep statements clear and concise, providing plain-language interpretations and metaphors. If you do not do it, the reporter may.
  7. Not let reporters lead you into saying something you do not wish to say. Some will try to feed you lines ("So, in other words, you are saying..."). If those words do not fairly capture what you said, correct the reporter. It is best not to repeat loaded words or phrases, even to deny the assertion, and better to avoid hypothetical questions.
  8. After the interview, feel free to call the News Office to discuss the interview, apprise the news staff of any surprising issues, or clarify any remaining questions.

The above rules also apply to broadcast interviews, but with a critical added factor: the lack of time. Unless you are the guest on a talk show, your comments may be cut down to twenty seconds or less.

Remember to:

  1. Be calm, positive, and natural. Speak in a normal, sincere tone and style without over-enunciating.
  2. Avoid jargon and acronyms, which distance you from the public. Give concrete, accessible examples.
  3. Remember appearance counts: Avoid clothing, jewelry or settings that draw attention to themselves. Seek a pleasant backdrop. People should react to your substance, not your style.

The News Office operates an extensive communications program on behalf of the University, helping both print and broadcast media describe significant achievements and activities of the University, its faculty, staff, and students. It also manages media relations, initiating and monitoring coverage and meeting media requests for information. If a faculty member has something timely and provocative to say, the office can help develop and offer op-eds to the appropriate news organization. No releases are distributed without full collaboration with the source. The News Office does not control what outside news organizations do with a release once it leaves University hands.

The News Office coordinates timing with faculty so as not to jeopardize an article's publication in a professional journal or a presentation at a professional meeting. Such coordinated timing often creates greater news coverage by providing a common release date, or "embargo date" for the story. Each campus unit is on the beat of a writer who keeps abreast of newsworthy developments and identifies University of Chicago experts for the press.

The News Office is located at 5801 S. Ellis Avenue, Suite 120. The phone is 773-702-8360, but the director and writers can also be reached via e-mail addresses listed in the campus directory. The Graduate School of Business (773-702-7128) and the Medical Center (773-702-6241) have their own Communications Offices to serve faculty and academic staff members in those areas.

UChicago Tech, the Center for Technology Development and Ventures

UChicagoTech, the Center for Technology Development and Ventures, transforms University discoveries and intellectual property into products, services, and ventures. UChicagoTech team members are experts in science, business, and intellectual property who provide support and guidance to bridge research with practical application for the benefit off society. For more information about the resources available through the Center, please visit the UChicagoTech site.

University Research Administration

University Research Administration (URA) provides guidance and support for research funding and compliance to promote the mission of The University of Chicago. For more information about resources available with URA, please visit the ​University Research Administration site.