Scientific Misconduct Overview

Misconduct or Misconduct in Science means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

  • 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.


Auburn University's Policy on Scientific Misconduct was developed to effect compliance with the requirements of the Public Health Service Final Rule on "Responsibilities of Awardees and Applicant Institutions for Dealing With and Reporting Possible Misconduct in Science" (42 CFR Part 50). Allegations of scientific misconduct made against any faculty, staff, or student of the University involved in research or research training, application for support of research or research training, or related research activities shall be handled according to the policies and procedures included in Auburn's policy statement on Scientific Misconduct.  This policy and the associated procedures apply to sponsored and non-sponsored research.