In the United States, through nation-wide discussions, the procedures for handling allegations of research misconduct are now well established. Procedures are geared toward carefully treating both complainants and respondents fairly in accordance with the US framework. Other countries, which have their own cultural and legal framework, also need fair and legally compatible procedures for conducting investigations of allegations of research misconduct. Given the rapid growth of international collaboration in research, it is desirable to have a global standard, or common ground, for misconduct investigations. Institutions need clear guidance on important subjects such as what information should be included in the investigation reports, how the investigation committee should be organized once research misconduct allegation has been received, how to conduct the investigation, how the data and information obtained should be taken as evidence for vs. against misconduct, and what policies the investigation committee should follow. We explore these issues from the viewpoint of members of committees investigating accusations of research misconduct (hereafter referred to as “investigation committees”) as well as persons overseeing the committees in Japan. We hope to engender productive discussions among experts in misconduct investigations, leading to a formulation of international standards for such investigation.
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