Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

CSULB is committed to ensuring the highest standards of responsible conduct in research, and legal and ethical conduct in its related business practices.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines responsible conduct of research 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.


Training in responsible and ethical research practices is an integral part of preparing academic professionals to conduct research. The National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have requirements for training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).

The terminal objective of RCR is to enhance academic integrity by training the learner in the accepted professional standards and norms in the conduct of research. The enabling objectives of RCR training are as follows:

  • Increase proficiency of ethical dimensions of research/scholarship;
  • Develop and refine the skills needed to question, analyze, and resolve ethical dilemmas;
  • Learn relevant legal, institutional and professional standards;
  • Know where to access various campus, national and Internet resources that address ethical and responsible research practices; and,
  • Facilitate discourse with peers and with faculty about ethical dimensions of research within their discipline.

CSULB uses the CITI Program to provide trainings that fulfill both internal and external requirements for Human Subjects Protection, Animal Welfare, and Financial Conflicts of Interest. These online training modules address most federal RCR requirements. ORSP Research Compliance provides additional face-to-face RCR training as required for any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant training.

Past Face to Face Workshops (DOC)

In partnership with ORSP Research Compliance, additional training that supports RCR are provided by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Safety Office.

Misconduct in Research and Creative Activity

Adherence to the highest ethical and moral standards in the conduct of research, scholarly and creative activity is the expectation for all members of the CSULB community. Actions that undermine the integrity of such activities that impede the advancement of knowledge, jeopardize collaborative endeavors, and/or damage the reputation of the University will not be tolerated.

The definition of research misconduct adopted by CSULB is as follows: Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or other practices in the conduct of research, scholarly, or creative activity that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the academic community for proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Misconduct in research does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

In addressing allegations of misconduct in research scholarly and creative activity, the University will provide a timely and thorough investigation that ensures fairness, protects the rights of all parties, and distinguishes serious breaches of integrity from honest error, or simple carelessness.

Read the whole Misconduct Policy Statement.

Student Cheating and Plagiarism in Research

It is the policy of the faculty and administration to deal effectively with the student who practices cheating or plagiarism. These acts are fundamentally destructive of the process of education and the confident evaluation of a student's mastery over a subject. A University maintains respect and functions successfully within the larger community when its reputation is built on honesty. By the same token, each student benefits in helping to maintain the integrity of the University. This policy, therefore, provides for a variety of faculty actions including those which may lead to the assignment of a failing grade for a course and for administrative actions which may lead to dismissal from the University. This document is written with the intent to support the traditional values that students are on their honor to perform their academic duties in an ethical manner.

Read the whole Cheating and Plagiarism Policy.