As an agency under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NIH follows the Public Health Service (PHS) Policies on Research Misconduct 42 CFR 93. According to this, research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification and plagiarism, and does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
All institutions receiving PHS funding must have written policies and procedures for addressing allegations of research misconduct.
NIH has specific procedures in place to handle allegations of research misconduct. All allegations of research misconduct received at the NIH are promptly and carefully reviewed. However, NIH does not have the authority to conduct investigations of these allegations except for the ones involving NIH intramural research. Ultimately, all research misconduct allegations involving NIH awards are forwarded to the HHS Office of Research Integrity (ORI) for their oversight.
ORI is responsible for overseeing and directing PHS research integrity activities. ORI has the authority and the responsibility to review and monitor investigations of research misconduct allegations involving PHS funding.