Scientific Forensics: How the Office of Research Integrity can Assist Institutional Investigations of Research Misconduct During Oversight Review

Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (4):713-735 (2010)
Abstract
The Division of Investigative Oversight within the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is responsible for conducting oversight review of institutional inquiries and investigations of possible research misconduct. It is also responsible for determining whether Public Health Service findings of research misconduct are warranted. Although ORI findings rely primarily on the scope and quality of the institution’s analyses and determinations, ORI often has been able to strengthen the original findings by employing a variety of analytical methods, often computer based. Although ORI does not conduct inquiries or investigations, it has broad authority to provide assistance to institutions at all stages of their reviews of allegations. This assistance can range from providing advice on best practices, to legal assistance, to suggestions for how best to investigate specific allegations. When asked, ORI can also conduct certain forensic analyses, such as a statistical examination of questioned digits or a simple examination of a questioned figure in Photoshop. ORI will not provide opinions or render judgment on such analyses while the institution is still conducting its investigation. Such analyses can be done without knowing much else about the case
Keywords ORI  Research misconduct  Scientific forensics
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