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Research Integrity

Policy Contacts

Matthew Fox, J.D.
Senior Research Compliance Officer, OVPR

What is Essential:

Federal regulations define research misconduct as plagiarism, fabrication, or falsification of research data. It is the responsibility of individual institutions, including Harvard, to prevent and detect its occurrence.

How to Comply:

Harvard has adopted an Interim Policy and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct. Several schools have implemented school-specific procedures (see below), consistent with the terms of the University policy.

Why it’s Important:

Integrity in all scholarship is a foundational principle that underlies Harvard’s core mission to discover, transmit and apply new knowledge for the benefit of society.

In recent decades, the federal agencies that fund scientific research have promoted research integrity under the rubric of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), which parses research integrity into specific activities ranging from authorship to data sharing to behaviors defined by the federal government as research misconduct.

Although the federal government mandates research integrity policies for activities it funds, it is the responsibility of individual institutions to prevent and detect its occurrence. At Harvard, each school creates, implements, and enforces its own research integrity and misconduct policies, consistent with federal requirements. For school-based information regarding research integrity, please refer to the materials collected on the Resources page.

Report Non-Compliance

In order to foster respect for the standards and rules that support its mission, Harvard created the office of the University Ombudsman and published a “Harvard University Statement of Values,” which set out these basic values:

  • Respect for the rights, differences, and dignity of others
  • Honesty and integrity in all dealings
  • Conscientious pursuit of excellence in one’s work
  • Accountability for actions and conduct in the workplace

Every member of the University community has a duty to act when they learn about situations where University policies or legal obligations are being violated, and the University has a complementary duty to protect the rights of those who come forward. Depending on the nature of the concern you have about possible non-compliance, there are many options available to assist you in deciding what action to take.

If you choose not to share your concerns with a supervisor or other person of authority in the unit where you work, the University Ombudsman provides guidance about a broad range of issues, including many that fall in the category of non-compliance.  There is also an anonymous Compliance Hotline that can be reached by telephone or by completing an online form. Finally, the University’s Chief Research Compliance Officer, Ara Tahmassian, can be consulted on all areas of research misconduct.

Relevant Contacts

University’s Chief Research Compliance Officer
Ara Tahmassian

Ombudsman Office
Lydia Cummings

Faculty of Arts and Sciences
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 

Stacey Springs
Research Integrity Officer

Graduate School of Design
Department Chairs
Landscape Architecture
Urban Planning and Design

Graduate School of Education
Daphne Layton
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Harvard Business School
Jean Cunningham
Assistant Dean, Administrative and Educational Affairs

Harvard Divinity School
Jane Smith
Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs

Harvard Kennedy School
Matt Alper
Associate Dean for Research

Harvard Law School
Catherine Claypoole
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Chief of Staff

Harvard Medical School
Office for Academic and Research Integrity

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Delia Wolf
Associate Dean for Regulatory Affairs & Research Compliance

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