Responsible Conduct in Research

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the research community at CUNY SPH conducts research responsibly and ethically.

Responsible conduct of research goes beyond simply avoiding misconduct in research. Researchers and research institutions must conduct research in a way that is honest, trustworthy, reliable and accountable.

  • Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is the ideal behavior of a researcher
  • Misconduct refers to the worst possible behavior by a researcher
  • Behavior that falls between the ideal and the worst, but still negatively impacts the integrity of the research is referred to as questionable research practices (QRP) (Steneck, 2006). Below is an illustration of this concept, adopted from Steneck’s work.

What is responsible conduct of research

For more on each of the above questionable research practices, please visit:

Ideal Behavior (Responsible Conduct of Research or RCR) Requirements

RCR requires the following:

  1. Sound research design and methodology
  2. Reproducibility
  3. Conscientious data management
  4. Appropriate authorship
  5. Appropriate mentorship
  6. Appropriate use of funds
  7. Disclosing conflicts of interest
  8. Managing conflicts of commitment

RCR also requires that researchers behave in an ethical manner, i.e. use sound ethical judgement that promotes trust, and that research is conducted with integrity, i.e. consistently doing the right thing.

To promote responsible conduct of research, CUNY requires training by all Faculty and staff members involved in research. The CUNY policy is available here.

Worst Behavior (Research Misconduct)

Research misconduct is explicitly defined in federal regulations and CUNY Policy as plagiarism, fabrication and falsification. Implications of research misconduct include but are not limited to:

  • Harm to individuals or society when patient care, government policies, social services, etc. are designed based on such research;
  • Waste of funds and other resources;
  • Loss of credibility and public trust in research and science;
  • Reputational damage to individuals and institutions; and
  • Inaccurate research records that inform future research.

CUNY resources related to research misconduct are available here:

Responsible Conduct of Research & Research Misconduct Resources:

CUNY Policy Regarding the Disposition of Allegations of Research Misconduct:

Related Policies