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Research Misconduct Defined

Research misconduct refers to practices that go against the ethics of accountable, open, honest, and fair scholarship. In Wilfrid Laurier University’s Policy for the Responsible Conduct of Research, research misconduct is defined as

"Any research practice that deviates seriously from the commonly accepted ethics/integrity standards or practices of the relevant research community."

Through five scenarios, we will explore examples of research misconduct, including the falsification of data, plagiarism, conflict of interest, and fraud. We will also identify possible repercussions for the misconduct according to Laurier policy. In contrast to academic misconduct, which happens when a student acts in a way that results in their false evaluation in a course, research misconduct happens outside of a course, as you’ll see in our scenarios.

The following scenarios are fictional but based on actual incidents of research misconduct. In each instance, we will examine strategies and tools for conducting responsible, ethical research, and imagine how the actors in our scenarios could have behaved differently.

Research with Integrity Scenarios

How Do I Report Misconduct?

All members of the Laurier community share in the responsibility for ensuring adherence to the highest standard of scholarly conduct. If you believe that research misconduct has occurred, it is your responsibility to report the incident in writing to the Vice-President: Research at

You may submit an allegation anonymously only if it is accompanied by sufficient information to enable the assessment of the allegation and the credibility of the facts and evidence on which the allegation is based, without the need for further information from the complainant. All allegations with be assessed according to the Student Code of Conduct: Academic Misconduct or the Policy for the Responsible Conduct of Research, depending on the context. Laurier researchers can receive further training and support in conducting responsible research through the library and the Office of Research Services.

If you have questions or concerns about research misconduct, contact the Office of Research Services.