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Office of the
Research Integrity Officer (ORIO)







  1. Ensure integrity in the proposal, performance, review, and reporting of research activities.
  2. Promote the safe and respectful treatment of all individuals associated with University research activities and environments.



The ORIO has the expertise, responsibility, and authority to:

  • Manage allegations of research misconduct and the process for addressing and resolving allegations (as defined in University Policy 7-001).
  • Facilitate the resolution of complaints and concerns of unprofessional behavior occurring in the research environment through coordination with cognizant University leadership and administrative offices.
  • Develop and advance University regulations related to all areas of research integrity.
  • Design and implement education and training to:
    • Promote ethical, responsible, and professional conduct of research, in addition to other critical topics related to research integrity and compliance.
    • Prevent research misconduct, detrimental and questionable research practices (DRPs and QRPs).
    • Examine the significance and application of appropriate image processing techniques.


What Research Misconduct is

Research misconduct is defined as the fabrication, falsification, and/or plagiarism that significantly deviates from the commonly accepted standards and practices within the relevant Research community for proposing, performing, reviewing, or reporting research.

What Research Misconduct is NOT

Research misconduct does not include honest error or honest difference in opinion, interpretations, or judgments of data.


Research misconduct does not just happen. It is a slippery slope of bad behaviors that can include both questionable scientific practices and interpersonal misbehaviors.


Examples of Bad Data Management Behaviors

thumnbnail of the pdf file

Examples of Bad Interpersonal Behaviors

  • Inappropriate rudeness and disrespect
  • Inappropriate flirting, touching, comments, questions, or jokes
  • Inappropriate yelling or emotional outbursts, us of expletives, throwing objects, or banging/slamming doors
  • Any form of physical intimidation or aggression (e.g., holding, restraining, impeding, or blocking movement, following, inappropriate contact or advances)
  • Psychological bullying or intimidation, such as making statements that are false (spreading rumors), malicious, disparaging, or derogatory that hurt another’s reputation
  • Belittling and/or mocking the thoughts, ideas, or feelings of others
  • Ridiculing individuals for failures
  • Exclusion or inequitable treatment based on sex, race, or ethnicity
  • Associating gender, sex, or race with professional competencies or performance
  • Retaliation against individual(s) for exercising the right to protect themselves or others from bullying, harassment, and other inappropriate behaviors

Research Misconduct Policy, Processes & Procedures

The University of Utah is committed to establishing a community and culture devoted to the highest standards of professional conduct. While the concept of ‘professionalism’ may vary across disciplines, an essential principle of every professional code includes treating others with respect, civility, and decency. This standard applies to all University employees and non-employees wherever University activity and business occurs, whether on or off campus, in person or through digital interactions.

The requirement to treat others appropriately applies to all research personnel and environments, without exception. University Researchers must abstain from the following forms of unprofessionalism.

Click tiles for definitions and information

University Policy, Processes, and Procedures

The policies and award conditions of federal agencies and other funding entities require the University to report certain Unprofessional Behaviors. Conditions are described below:

What are DRPs:

Detrimental Research Practices are harmful behaviors of questionable integrity that do not rise to the level of research misconduct but that compromise the positive climate, safety, compliance, and ethics of researchers at all levels.1

DRPs are often divided into three broad categories:

  1. Misrepresentation
  2. Breach of Duty Care/Researcher Negligence
  3. Neglectful or Exploitive Supervision (“Mentoring Malpractice”)


1Definition adopted with gratitude from Dr. James L. Mohler, Defining and Addressing Detrimental Research Practices(DRPs), August 2022 ARIO Conference presentation.

What are QRPs:

“Questionable research practices are actions that violate traditional values of the research enterprise and that may be detrimental to the research process…because they can erode confidence in the integrity of the research process, violate traditions associated with science, affect scientific conclusions, waste time and resources, and weaken the education of new scientists.”2

While QRPs may not directly damage the integrity of research processes or results, they create risk for non-compliance, violations of integrity, unprofessionalism, and research misconduct.

QRPs can include a wide and diverse range of behaviors, some of which overlap with types of DRPs and Unprofessional Behaviors. Seven categories of QRPs are provided below: 

  1. Policy Misconduct
  2. Conflict of Interests
  3. Collaboration
  4. Study Design
  5. Data Collection and Management
  6. Data Analysis
  7. Reporting and Publication of Results

2Responsible Science : Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process: Volume I, National Academies Press, 1992. ProQuest Ebook Central,

What’s the Difference?

There are many similarities between DRP and QRP sub-categories. In fact, a detailed comparison of areas of overlap is provided below in the “SRP and QRP Guidance” section.

However, the primary difference between DRPs vs. QRPs is (1) intentionality and (2) direct harm.  DRPs are more directly associated with actions that are (1) committed with knowledge or intent and (2) have a direct negative impact upon research personnel, activities, and outcomes.

DRP and QRP Guidance

Coming Soon



Hot Topics


Reporting, Questions, or Concerns?


Research Integrity Officer

Zachary Mitchell

Forensics Illustrator

Nikita Abraham
Image processing inquiries, research visualization and figure generation assistance, and Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or Acrobat support.




Anonymous Reporting

  1. Under "Organization Name" type "University of Utah"

  2. Select the "University of Utah" radio button

  3. Click "Select Company/Institution"

  4. Review categories for reporting; for research misconduct, unprofessionalism in a research environment, and other detrimental research practices, select: "Research"

  5. Choose the arrow next to the sub-category describing the concern/issue

  6. Provide required and requested information (if applicable)

  7. Click "Submit Report"







Responsible Conduct of Research Courses

from University of Utah Research Education


In this class we will review appropriate image manipulation techniques when preparing research graphics for publications, grants, and presentations.

Class Objectives: 

  • Identify inappropriate image manipulations in research 
  • Describe appropriate image manipulation techniques 
  • Recognize the importance of appropriate image manipulation techniques in promoting scientific rigor


The University of Utah is committed to establishing a community and culture devoted to the highest standards of professional conduct. While the concept of ‘professionalism’ varies across disciplines, an essential principle of every professional code includes treating others with respect, civility, and decency.

This class will explore the federal, Institutional, and research industry landscape of (un)professional behavior in the research context. Through a focused presentation of relevant topics, paired with case study discussions with subject matter experts, attendees will acquire a clear understanding of professional behavior in the research context, consequences for unprofessional conduct, and an appreciation for the impact that (un)professionalism has on the quality of research processes and results.

ENROLL for red 730

Even though scientific research itself is hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years old, the area of responsible conduct of research (RCR) is relatively new. The discussions around RCR emphasize the nuanced and multidisciplinary social and ethical issues that arise when conducting scientific research. This asynchronous (completely online) class will increase researchers’, scholars’, and research administrators’ awareness about the need for responsible conduct of research (RCR).  The class will highlight strategies to promote research integrity so that the unacceptable research practices as well as research misconduct are prevented.  The RCR class meets the requirements NIH- and NSF-funded research (adapted from the Milken School)

At the conclusion of this class, you should be able to:

  • Characterize elements of responsible conduct of research (RCR)
  • Describe areas of research misconduct
  • Differentiate activities that promote responsible conduct of research (RCR) in your discipline
  • Identify federal and university resources that deal with research misconduct

ENROLL for red 731

The responsible conduct of research (RCR) is a relatively new discipline. It is focused on the multifaceted social and ethical issues that arise in the practice of scientific research. But scientific research itself is hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years old. Reflecting on this history of biology, chemistry, physics and medicine provides insightful examples of both responsibly conducted research, and irresponsibly conducted research, by some of the most famous scientists in history.

Participants will examine a number of notable cases from the history of science and will consider how prominent scientists and their research would fare in the modern age of RCR.




Last Updated: 7/16/24