UW Research

Office of Research Misconduct Proceedings

The Office of Research Misconduct Proceedings (ORMP) coordinates the University’s handling of allegations of research misconduct against members of the University community, in consultation and cooperation with the University’s schools, colleges, and campuses.

ORMP assesses research misconduct complaints and, where appropriate, initiates the research misconduct process. ORMP fulfills the institution’s obligation to assure compliance with the regulations of the University’s federal funding partners.

The University’s policy and procedures for addressing allegations of research misconduct are published in the University of Washington Policy Directory, Executive Order No. 61, “Research Misconduct Proceedings,” which was updated in February 2016.

What is Research Misconduct?

Research misconduct is the fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

  • Falsification: 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.
  • Fabrication: making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  • Plagiarism: the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

Research misconduct is not:

  • Reuse of a moderate amount of commonly-used language in a field,
  • Disputes among collaborators on a research project, or
  • Honest errors or differences of opinion.

What happens to me if I report research misconduct?

After a complaint is made and determined to be an allegation of research misconduct that meets certain criteria, ORMP opens an inquiry.  At that point the complainant becomes a witness to the proceedings. They may be called upon for additional information or interviews. The University shall strive to honor a complainant’s request that the complainant’s identity in a research misconduct proceeding remain confidential. The University will not tolerate retaliation against complainants, witnesses, experts, Advisory Committee members, or others for their involvement in a research misconduct proceeding.

Download “What is ORMP” PDF

Research Misconduct Proceedings

The Office of Research Misconduct Proceedings (ORMP) is guided by Executive Order No. 61. Throughout the process the evidence must be sufficient and specific enough to warrant continuing to the subsequent phase. The full process includes:

  • initial review of the complaint,
  • notification of the respondent,
  • sequestration of research materials and review of said materials,
  • investigation by an ad-hoc committee, and
  • a decision by the dean as to whether research misconduct occurred.

Download a PNG graphic or access text version of the Research Misconduct Proceeding process.

Reporting Research Misconduct

If you suspect research misconduct, please contact the Office of Research Misconduct Proceedings via:

Phone: (206) 616-8212, Director of ORMP

E-mail: ormp@uw.edu