CU Boulder is committed to the core principle of performing original research and providing scientific training using the highest standards and best practices of ethics and the responsible conduct of research (RCR).

What is RCR?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines RCR as “the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.”

Until recently, emphasis on RCR focused primarily on research misconduct, defined by the themes of data fabrication or falsification and plagiarism. Today RCR is viewed as a much broader set of guiding principles and behaviors on topics including:

  • Mentor-trainee interactions and responsibilities
  • Data acquisition, management, sharing and ownership
  • Safe laboratory practices
  • Publication practices and authorship
  • Peer review
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Collaborative science
  • Research misconduct
  • Human subjects
  • Animal welfare
  • The scientist in society

The goal of RCR education at CU Boulder is to inform all individuals engaged in the research process about the key issues, current standards and best ethical practices.

Research Misconduct

The University of Colorado is committed to the ethical and responsible conduct of research. The charge of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct is to encourage a research climate that supports this goal, and to investigate allegations of misconduct in the research process.