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Office of Research Integrity

Research Integrity

Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Research

Medical University of South Carolina

MUSC is committed to creating and maintaining an environment for research that conforms to the highest ethical principles, fosters intellectual honesty and integrity, and encourages scientific advances of the highest quality. The following guidelines summarize the principles of good practice that the University observes concerning ethical conduct in research.

All researchers are obligated to uphold the highest standards of research integrity by:

  1. Maintaining accurate detailed and permanent records of research procedures and results;
  2. Safeguarding intellectual property rights by fairly and honestly assigning authorship or acknowledgement and by appropriate distribution of credit in research publications to the originators of ideas, methods, and findings;
  3. Promoting open exchange of scientific findings by a thorough description of methods and data in published reports;
  4. Enabling other investigators to reproduce and expand on published findings by making unique research materials such as cells, DNA clones, or monoclonal antibodies, available when feasible to any interested academic;
  5. Fulfilling all departmental and University research publication standards;

Principal investigators, in addition, are accountable for:

  1. Orienting their laboratory and collaborating personnel to University standards, policies and procedures;
  2. Overseeing all work performed by students, research fellows, residents, coinvestigators and staff to ensure that each has the knowledge information skills and support necessary to meet these standards;
  3. Complying fully with all policies regulations and University guidelines governing the use of human or animal subjects or biohazardous materials; and
  4. Verifying the validity and quality of data and manuscripts generated in their laboratories. Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community are unethical. They are also, by definition of the United States Public Health Service, scientific misconduct, and constitute grounds for disciplinary action by the University and the Public Health Service.

In all research groups, experimental data, reports and manuscripts should be reviewed by all coauthors as well as by the senior member of the research team. Coauthorship must reflect scientific involvement in the project. By agreeing to submit a manuscript for publication, each author assumes responsibility for all work reported within his or her area of expertise.

Costs of clinical studies performed primarily for investigational purposes should not be borne by participants or third party payers.

Unauthorized or undisclosed use of public funds to support industry-funded studies is unethical.

In relations with commercial sponsors, investigators must avoid all conflicts of interest including bias in the interpretation and reporting of research results. Investigators must avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

All MUSC faculty, staff, students, and trainees who have reason to question the integrity of the work of any research participant should inform a responsible superior, the Department Chair, Dean, Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost, or the Research Integrity Officer. Anyone reporting questionable activities is afforded protection by the University. These contacts will be confidential and will be pursued in a manner that assures the due process rights of all parties.

Office of the Dean:

College of Dental Medicine 792-3811

College of Graduate Studies 792-3391

College of Health Professions 792-3328

College of Medicine 792-2081

College of Nursing 792-3027

College of Pharmacy 792-8450

Office of the Vice-President, Academic Affairs 792-3031

Research Integrity Officer 876-2404