Research Misconduct

All members of the San José State University Community are expected to uphold the highest standards of ethics, honesty, and integrity in their scholarly and scientific activities.  

Research misconduct is defined under SJSU policy and federal law as “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

  • Fabrication:  making up data or research results and recording or reporting them.
  • Falsification:  manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately reported in the research record.
  • Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without appropriate credit.  

It is important to remember that Research Misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.  

If you suspect that Research Misconduct is occurring or has occurred, you can contact Research Compliance.  If you make an allegation of Research Misconduct, you are protected from retaliation under federal and state whistleblower laws, as well as CSU policy.

Authorship Disputes

It is important to note that not all disputes over authorship constitute plagiarism.  The websites listed below contain helpful guidance for researchers and scholars on avoiding and managing disputes over authorship:

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Webinar 2017:  Standards in authorship

The American Psychological Association Authorship Determination Scorecard [pdf]

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE):  Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors

National Institute of Health General Guidelines for Authorship Contributions [pdf]

COPE Flowchart:  How to Recognize Potential Authorship Problems [pdf]

Transparency in authors’ contributions and responsibilities to promote integrity in scientific publication.  McNutt et al. PNAS Mar 2018, 115(11) 2557-2560.


Academic Senate Policy F12-5 [pdf]

65 FR No. 2, Office of Science and Technology Policy [pdf]

List of All Federal Research Misconduct Policies

“The Lab:  Avoiding Research Misconduct”