Initiation of Allegation

Any allegation of academic misconduct, including but not limited to falsification or fabrication of data, plagiarism [3], or gross negligence in the conduct, proposing or reporting of research or scholarship, whether lodged from within or outside the University, that is directed against an individual who, at the time of the alleged misconduct, was a faculty or staff member or postdoctoral fellow or associate of any School of Yale University, will be directed to the dean of the school in which the respondent holds or held appointments. [4] [5] [6]

The dean [7], in a timely manner but generally no longer than two weeks following receipt of an allegation, with the advice of two senior faculty members designated by him or her, will determine whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that the allegation is sufficiently credible and specific so that potential evidence of academic misconduct may be identified [8], and, if true, would constitute academic misconduct. If it is necessary to consult with others in order to make this decision, the dean will seek to maintain, if possible, the anonymity of all individuals involved, including those who have made the allegations, and in any event will require all those consulted to treat the matter as strictly confidential.

If the dean determines that there are not reasonable grounds for believing that the allegation is sufficiently credible and specific so that potential evidence of academic misconduct may be identified, and, if true, would constitute academic misconduct under this procedure, the dean may dismiss the allegation altogether or may address the allegation under other applicable University policies and procedures.  The results of the dean’s evaluation and the reasons for the decision will be set forth in a written report which will be maintained for a period of three years in a locked or secured location. The dean will promptly inform the person(s) who made the allegations of this decision.

If the dean determines that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the allegation is sufficiently credible and specific so that potential evidence of academic misconduct may be identified, and, if true, would constitute academic misconduct, or if the dean is unable to reach a determination in a timely manner, the dean will appoint an Inquiry Committee to examine the allegation.

The dean may secure all materials that, in his or her discretion, are directly relevant to the allegations.

Next: Inquiry


3 These Policies and Procedures incorporate the definitions of fabrication, falsification and plagiarism set forth in the Office of Science and Technology’s Federal Policy on Research Misconduct, http://tinyurl.com/4643ucp, as clarified by the HHS Office of Research Integrity’s Policy on Plagiarism, http://tinyurl.com/4lzqabq. For allegations arising under the jurisdiction of other government agencies, those agency’s definitions will supersede these to the extent inconsistent.

4 In the case of joint appointments, the complaint should be directed to the School of primary appointment; if neither School is primary, the Provost will determine to which Dean the complaint should be directed.

5 An allegation that a student has committed academic misconduct in the course of proposing, conducting or reporting of research or scholarship supported by the federal government will also be addressed under these procedures, and will be directed to the Dean of the School in which the respondent is enrolled. If federally supported research is not involved, the Dean may address the matter either under these procedures or under the student disciplinary procedures of the School, in the Dean’s discretion.

6 In any proceeding brought under these Policies and Procedures, the President may appoint an alternative University official (in place of the Dean) to supervise the process.

7 The Dean, in his or her discretion, may delegate certain ministerial functions, including informing the accused of the inquiry, and notifying the Provost and funding, regulatory, or other agencies.

8 With regard to whether the allegations are sufficiently credible and specific, note that the mere fact that one person cannot replicate someone else’s results does not constitute evidence of academic misconduct. Nor does a disagreement over interpretation or methodology rise to the level of an allegation of academic misconduct. An allegation of nonreplicability may, however, constitute important support for a specific allegation that may warrant investigation.