§ 422.3 - Inquiry, investigation, and adjudication.
A research institution that conducts extramural research funded by USDA bears primary responsibility for prevention and detection of research misconduct and for the inquiry, investigation, and adjudication of research misconduct allegations reported directly to it. The research institution must perform an inquiry in response to an allegation, and must follow the inquiry with an investigation if the inquiry determines that the allegation or apparent instance of research misconduct has substance. The responsibilities for adjudication must be separate from those for inquiry and investigation. In most instances, USDA will rely on a research institution conducting extramural research to promptly:
(a) Initiate an inquiry into any suspected or alleged research misconduct;
(b) Conduct a subsequent investigation, if warranted;
(c) Acquire, prepare, and maintain appropriate records of allegations of extramural research misconduct and all related inquiries, investigations, and findings; and
(d) Take action to ensure the following:
(1) The integrity of research;
(2) The rights and interests of the subject of the investigation and the public are protected;
(3) The observance of legal requirements or responsibilities including cooperation with criminal investigations; and
(4) Appropriate safeguards for subjects of allegations, as well as informants (see § 422.6). These safeguards should include timely written notification of subjects regarding substantive allegations made against them; a description of all such allegations; reasonable access to the data and other evidence supporting the allegations; and the opportunity to respond to allegations, the supporting evidence and the proposed findings of research misconduct, if any.