West Chester University

Gautam Pillay, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President
628 S. High Street
Filano Hall, Room 205
Fax: 610-436-2689

Responsible Conduct of Research Policy

General Discussion

A university community has the obligation to conduct research and/or scholarly work and communicate results using the highest standards and ethical practices. West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCU) is responsible for promoting academic practices that prevent misconduct and for developing policies and procedures for dealing with allegations of misconduct. All members of the West Chester University community--students, staff, faculty, and administrators--share responsibility for developing and maintaining standards to ensure ethical conduct of research and detection and appropriate handling of abuse of these standards. This responsibility must be assumed while sustaining the openness and creativity that is vital to the enterprise research.

Federal agencies require that institutions receiving federal funds for the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research submit an assurance of compliance with federal guidelines on misconduct in science and engineering research, and an Annual Report on Possible Misconduct in Science. This WCU policy is in response to federal requirements as listed in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 93.

WCU community is guided by four core principles---scholarship, diversity, integrity and service. Unethical conduct in research and scholarship strike at the heart of two of these principles---scholarship and integrity and undermines the community's commitment to excellence. The purpose of this policy is to provide the members of this academic community a framework for reporting suspected incidents of misconduct, as well as investigating and adjudicating cases of misconduct in a fair and consistent manner. It is also intended that any such action be in accordance with applicable federal and state law as well as the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) which WCU University is a component as well as any other controlling CBA.

It is generally recognized in academia that an accusation of misconduct in scholarship and/or research is among the most serious charge that can be leveled against a scholar/researcher. Consequently, it is highly advised that any individual contemplating such an accusation fully consider the gravity of the accusation and its consequences, and make every reasonable effort to avoid lodging charges that lack a substantial element of truth. Frivolous or false accusations may constitute grounds for disciplinary action against the accuser consistent with this policy and any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Read the complete WCU Research Integrity Policy (PDF)