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Scientific and Applied Research Misconduct

Sabanci University (SU) positions itself as one of the most innovative and research-focused universities in Turkey. Therefore, ensuring an environment of continuous enrichment and development of scientific and applied research is a priority among the key strategies of SU. The functionality of this environment is only possible through the integrity and honesty of faculty members, students and other employees who take part in scientific and applied research. Therefore SU has developed and enforced the “Scientific and Applied Research Misconduct Policy”.

European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity

Sabancı University adopts European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity as well. Please click to read European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.

Scientific and Applied Research Misconduct

Sabancı University has enhanced and applied "Scientific and Applied Research Misconduct Policy" procedure according to the misconduct definition below.

I. Definition of Scientific and Applied Research Misconduct

Scientific and Applied Research Misconduct at Sabanci University is defined as:

  1. willful alteration of data and research methods in data analysis; data fabrication, and fraud, falsification or plagiarism in research propositions, the research processes, or assessments.
  2. deliberate failure to protect researchers, human research subjects and the society in research and to achieve national and international guidelines for humane treatment of animal research subjects.
  3. the use of research funds, facilities or personnel for unauthorized and/or illegal purposes.

Fabrication is defined as recording or reporting fictitious data or results.

Fraud is defined as manipulating research materials, equipment or processes or causing the misrepresentation of the research by altering or deleting data or results.

Plagiarism is assuming ownership of the ideas, processes, conclusions or words of others without providing specific reference.

II. Explanations

Misconduct does not include honest mistakes and discrepancies in the interpretation and assessment of data. This policy is only intended for original research, and does not replace or substitute academic integrity guidelines for coursework and course-related research.

“Inquiry” is defined as the effort to gather information and find out the truth to determine whether an accusation or an apparent misconduct requires or warrants further investigation.

“Investigation” is defined as the official examination and assessment of all related information to determine whether misconduct has occurred.

III. Determining Scientific and Applied Research Misconduct

The following are indicative of scientific and applied research misconduct:

  • Significant deviation from the practices accepted by the related research society (social sciences, humanities or natural sciences, among others);
  • Willful, deliberate or reckless misconduct;
  • Solid evidence that misconduct has occurred.

IV. Procedures

Allegations of misconduct are made in writing to the Dean of a faculty or the Research and Graduate Policies (RGP) Director. The President of Sabancı University is ultimately responsible for all research projects and activities taking place at the university; therefore, the Dean or the Director notifies the President of all research misconduct allegations. Additionally, the President will consult the legal counseling department throughout all inquiries and investigations, and is responsible for the management of these processes.

The procedures outlined herein do not preclude the enforcement of other measures against misconduct. In case of an investigation of the misuse of research funds, the findings of the investigation will be reported to the internal auditors of the university, and to the related parties of external auditors as required. In the event of an allegation of illegal activity, the President will have the authority to direct the investigation and enforce injunctions prior to or during the inquiry or investigation to protect public property or resources. If the investigation is to be propagated by other bodies or if there is inadequate evidence of misconduct, the President may decide to terminate the inquiry.

V. Administrative Procedures

1. In the event that there is evidence or allegations of possible misconduct, an inquiry is initiated immediately. The inquiry will be directed by the Dean of the faculty involved, or by the RGP Director when required.

Unless the President grants an extension, an inquiry must be completed within 60 workdays. The suspects are informed of the content and scope upon the initiation of inquiry. A report consisting of gathered evidence, interview summaries and conclusions will be prepared. The accused persons will be notified of the progress of inquiry, and will receive copies of the inquiry report. The responses, if any, of the accused persons will also be included in the inquiry report. If the inquiry should exceed 60 workdays, the inquiry records must include documents substantiating the reason of extension, and written consents of the President and the accused persons to such extension.

The identities of the accusers will not be revealed throughout the inquiry, and the accused persons will be kept confidential. The inquiry must be completed in a swift and thorough manner, and the accused persons will be entitled to comment on or respond to any accusations and findings.

If it is deemed that an investigation will not be required, all relevant documents and records will be kept for a period of one year to facilitate any reassessment.

The President will consult the Dean to call for an official investigation.

If no further investigation is to be conducted, the President and the Dean will take the necessary precautions to protect the accusing and accused parties. The President and the Dean may also decide to take additional measures to restore the reputation of the wrongfully accused party.

The President or the Dean may call for an inquiry of the accusing parties in case of wrongful or deliberate accusation.

1. If misconduct or wrongful or deliberate accusation is ascertained, the corrective provisions outlined in the Regulations on the Disciplinary Procedures for Administrators, Faculty and Employees of Higher Education Institutions numbered 2547 will be enforced.

Although the university is primarily responsible for the inquiry and investigation processes, other public bodies may undertake their own investigations prior to, during or after the investigation of the university, and enforce additional measures based upon its investigation.