All persons engaged in research at the Laboratory are responsible for adhering to the highest standards of research integrity. Activities that fall short of the basic ethical principles inherent in the research process undermine the scientific enterprise. The Research Compliance Office (RCO) is here to assist researchers in learning about responsible conduct of research and to address questions, concerns, and allegations of possible research misconduct. Under the Laboratory’s Research Misconduct Policy, the Laboratory Deputy Director for Research is the Deciding Official. This policy implements DOE Regulations (952.235-71) and Public Health Service Regulations (42 CFR Part 93) concerning Research Misconduct. The Laboratory policy on scientific and technical publications can be found in the Requirements and Policy Manual (RPM). Please contact the Research Integrity Officer (RIO) at RIO@lbl.gov with any concerns around the integrity or ethics of scientific research conducted at the Lab.
Research Misconduct is defined by federal law and Berkeley Lab as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.
- Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them
- Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes; or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record
- Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit
Research misconduct does not include authorship or collaboration disputes, attribution of credit, confidentiality, access to or interpretations of date, simple negligence, differences of opinion, or honest error.
Who to Contact
Laboratory members should report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to Joerg Heber, Berkeley Lab’s Research Integrity Officer (RIO), at 510-701-7280 or RIO@lbl.gov. If research misconduct is reported to another Laboratory official, the report must be forwarded to the RIO. For more information, see the Research Misconduct Policy. Contact us if you have any questions.
Unsure if incident is research misconduct?
If you are unsure whether the suspected incident falls within the definition of research misconduct, please contact Joerg Heber, Berkeley Lab’s Research Integrity Officer (RIO) at 510-701-7280 or RIO@lbl.gov to discuss the suspected research misconduct informally, which may include discussing anonymously and/or hypothetically. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of research misconduct, the RIO will refer the individual or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving the dispute.
At any time, a Laboratory member may have confidential discussions and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the RIO and will be counseled about appropriate procedures for reporting allegations. The RIO will not be able to agree to a confidential discussion if the subject of the misconduct involves any of the conditions or special circumstances set forth in Section D.3.6, Interim Actions and Notifying the Funding Agency of Special Circumstances.