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Research misconduct

Disclosure date: 31 January 2014

Reference: FOI2014/004

Request

This is a Freedom of Information request regarding research misconduct of postgraduate students and staff.

1.) I would like to know how you record instances of research misconduct, both proven cases and allegations.

a) For how many years do you hold this information and in what format.

b) Do you have a central database where you record this information.

c) Do you keep records at a lower level e.g. within each school or faculty at your institution.

d) If your record keeping falls under neither (b) or (c) above then I would like to know how you record instances of research misconduct.

2.) I would like to know what procedure the university follows when there is a breach of your policy or guidelines on research integrity, e.g. there is an instance of research misconduct.

a) In instances where the allegation is proven, what happens with regards to the present and future funding of the relevant research.

b) In instances where the allegation is proven, what ramifications are there for the guilty party(s).

c) What procedure is followed where research funds (e.g. through a grant) have been used by a person later found guilty of research misconduct.

If information was extracted from databases or spreadsheets in response to this request then please provide a full copy. In the event that these records contain columns that hold personal information covered by data protection provisions, please simply delete the offending columns and send the rest of the data without them.

Response

1.) Cases of staff research misconduct are investigated by the Named Person, a Dean or other senior academic. The Named Person will report the outcome of the investigation to the Director of Research and Enterprise who records the outcome.

For Postgraduate students the student disciplinary procedure, or the procedures for assessment and examination offences, as appropriate would record the instances of research misconduct.

a) Records of this type are kept in a secure data base, by HR or student registry as appropriate, for 6 years after the matter has been concluded. The records are then destroyed in line with the School’s retention policy.

b) Yes.

c) No.

d) N/A

2.) See Research Misconduct Policy: http://www.soas.ac.uk/researchoffice/ethics/file50160.pdf

a) Should this situation arise it would be dealt with on a case by case basis with the funder.

b) Allegations of misconduct involving research conducted by postgraduate students are dealt with, as appropriate, under SOAS’s student disciplinary procedure or the procedures for assessment and examination offences.

If an academic staff research misconduct allegation is upheld a decision is made to move from the research misconduct investigation to a disciplinary procedure, the disciplinary procedure applied will be the one that is relevant to the respondent's category of staff.

c) Should this occur it would be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Information was not extracted from a database.