Reporting Allegations of Research Misconduct

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a global leader in public health. As such, CDC requires that its research is conducted responsibly, with integrity, and meets current ethical standards.  CDC treats research misconduct very seriously.

Under applicable federal regulations found at 42 CFR Part 93, research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Research misconduct does not include honest errors, differences of opinion, or authorship disputes.

The CDC Research Integrity Officer (RIO) in the CDC Office of Science receives and assesses good faith allegations of research misconduct. Individuals should submit allegations to the RIO in writing.  If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of research misconduct, he or she may meet with or contact the RIO to discuss the suspected research misconduct informally, using anonymous or hypothetical terms. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.

Submitting an allegation of research misconduct:

All allegations must be submitted in writing to the Research Integrity Office (RIO) at ResearchIntegrity@cdc.gov.

To enable a more thorough assessment of your concerns, when submitting your allegation, please include as much of the following information as possible:

  1. Describe your concern, including what research you believe has been falsified, fabricated or plagiarized, and how.
  2. Describe the research records, research process, presentations or publications you believe are affected, including any relevant details, such as dates, times, locations, and citations.
  3. If possible, name the individuals you believe may have committed the alleged misconduct, any witnesses, and, if known their CDC affiliations and contact information.
  4. Include any other information you believe is relevant or supporting documents.

CDC reviews allegations of research misconduct through a standardized process consistent with the CDC Research Misconduct Policypdf icon and Public Health Service Regulationsexternal icon, available at these links.  Federal law protects whistleblowers from retaliation.external icon

To discuss or report suspected research misconduct at CDC, please contact the CDC Research Integrity Officer (RIO) at ResearchIntegrity@cdc.gov .

Page last reviewed: October 11, 2017
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