University Compliance Office
Responsible Conduct of Research
SECTION I. INTRODUCTION
The Medical University of South Carolina is committed to the highest standards of professional conduct. Therefore, all members of the University community are expected to adhere to the highest ethical standards of professional conduct and integrity. The values we hold among ourselves to be essential to responsible professional behavior include: honesty, trustworthiness, respect and fairness in dealing with other people, a sense of responsibility toward others and loyalty toward the ethical principles espoused by the institution. It is important that these values and the tradition of ethical behavior be consistently demonstrated and carefully maintained.
SECTION II. DEFINITIONS
Members of the University Community or “Members” mean faculty, staff, fellows, residents and students or any individual employed by the University using University research resources or facilities, or receiving research funds administered by the University and those engaged in oversight of research facilities or funds.
SECTION III. RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Fairness. Members of the University community have the obligation to respect and to be fair to other members, students and persons they supervise, and to foster their intellectual and professional growth. Members must not engage in, nor permit, harassment and illegal discrimination. Members must not abuse the authority they have been given and care must be taken to ensure that any personal relationships do not result in situations that might interfere with objective judgment.
2. Professional Conduct. Work place and educational experiences must impart ethical standards of professional conduct through instruction and example. Members of the University community are expected to conscientiously fulfill their obligations toward students, advisees, colleagues and perform their duties as part of the University community. Members must support intellectual freedom.
3. Compliance. Members of the University community are expected to understand and comply with laws and regulations related to their duties. Members are responsible for adherence to University policies and procedures and are expected to comply with State and Federal laws. The University has the obligation to provide the opportunities necessary to assure awareness. Members are expected to see that those who report to them are informed about, understand and comply with regulations such as those for health and safety in the workplace, including the procedures to assure the ethical treatment of human subjects and animals and the use of hazardous materials. Members also have an obligation to report any noncompliance of regulations that are observed.
4. Authorship. In an academic environment we continually seek after knowledge and understanding and must transmit our findings faithfully. Members of the University community who create scholarly products or works of art must guarantee the originality of their work and provide credit for the ideas of others upon which their work is built. All authors on a published work are responsible for the accuracy and fairness of the presented information.
It is expected that members of the University community consider individuals for inclusion as authors on work submitted for publication if they have contributed substantially intellectually to the work. Special care must be taken to clarify authorship with entry level professional persons such as graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and trainees, preferably before the work is begun. It is inappropriate for members to include individuals as authors if they contributed only peripherally to the work.
5. Peer Review. Any material received by members of the University community to review for funding or publication is confidential and the ideas contained therein must not be used in any other manner by the reviewer unless specifically permitted.
6. Data Collection and Management. Falsification, fabrication and unacknowledged appropriation of the data of others by members of the University community are unethical and prohibited. At the outset of any research project, all participants are expected to discuss and agree upon data management and access and retention procedures including procedures for having participants join or leave the project. Privacy of collected data and rights to intellectual property must be protected.
Student rights to data are expected to be clearly specified.
All documentation necessary to reconstruct investigations is expected to be available and data are to be recorded in a timely and consistent manner.
7. Fiscal Responsibilities. Members of the University community must not accept money or gifts for research on behalf of the University or as part of their University activities except as prescribed by University policy. All funds provided for research must be spent in ways consistent with the funding documents and in compliance with the guidelines on allowable costs. Members in charge of budgets have an obligation to monitor records of expenditures for compliance with University policies and procedures and to allow these records to be viewed by appropriate parties. Departmental files are the property of the University.
The University has the obligation to provide up-to-date records of financial transactions.
For more information on responsible conduct of research, visit the MUSC Institutional Review Board Resources page