Research and Scholarly Integrity

Responsible Conduct of Research

The Principal Investigator, or PI, has overall responsibility for the conduct of the research or scholarly activity. The PI's responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

In addition, the PI should ensure that all members of the research team have been trained to fulfill their responsibilities to the project, follow the approved plan for conducting the research, and comply with relevant laboratory and research policies. Michigan State University requires that faculty members sign off as PIs for this purpose, but student and faculty investigators share the responsibility for complying with policies related to research ethics. For student-initiated research projects, the student should prepare the relevant applications with assistance from a faculty mentor.

The MSU Guidelines on Authorship shall be used to determine authorship, order of authors, and acknowledgement credits for both faculty-initiated and student-initiated research projects.


Responsible Conduct of Research, or RCR, training is required for all students in the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. RCR topics covered address the responsibilities of  students in both basic biomedical and clinical research during the four year curriculum. Face-to-face instruction developed by College of Osteopathic Medicine basic research, clinical research, administrative and support faculty/staff will be used. This will be complemented by the MSU Institutional Review Board training and Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative online modules. Completion of the required training and online modules is tracked for each student by the College of Osteopathic Medicine Office of the Registrar. 

Please see the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Checklist for requirements and your responsibilities for the RCR training:

Institution of Record

Michigan State University shall be the institutioin of record for any publication, presentation, or other public dissemination of results for research conducted at MSU or using MSU resources. No other institutions, including future institutions where a student or faculty member works at the time of presentation/publication, shall be included in a presentation/publication unless the other institution contributed significantly to the project. This policy does not preclude listing the student's or faculty member's current address for correspondence.

The MSU Guidelines on Research Data shall be used to determine investigator responsibilities related to ownership of, management of, and access to research data.

Ownership of Research Data

Research data include but are not limited to raw data recored in any format, computer records and printouts, videotapes, audiotapes, photographs, laboratory notebooks, and field notes and journals. MSU is the owner of the scientific records for projects conducted at the university, under the auspices of the university, or with university resources. Therefore, the original copies of all such data must be maintained at MSU, including data from student-initiated research projects.

Management of Research Data

The PI is the custodian of the data, with responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of the scientific record, the confidentiality of the data and the physical condition and security of the data. In addition, the PI is responsible for retaining the research data for not less than three years after the submission of the final project report or publication (whichever occurs last). Furthermore, the PI is responsible for protecting intellectual property resulting from the research and responding to allegations of misconduct in research or financial conflicts of interest (both situations may warrant retaining research data for long than three years). For student-initiated projects, research data must be retained at least until the degree is awarded or until it is clear that the student has abandoned the work.

Access to Research Data

The PI is responsible for determining who may have access to research data and under which conditions. When students or faculty members involved in research projects at MSU leave the university, they may take copies of research data for projects on which they have worked.