VHA Handbook 1058.02
VHA Handbook 1058.02 (issued on November 16, 2012) adopts the Federalwide definition of research misconduct and sets out a precise process for responding to misconduct allegations involving VA research. The potential consequences and severity of research misconduct necessitate a procedurally detailed mechanism for handling such allegations.
The standard response to a research misconduct allegation involves a threshold determination, an initial Inquiry, and a formal Investigation conducted by the facility where the research in question was conducted. Based on the Investigation’s findings and conclusions, the appropriate VISN Director adjudicates (determines the outcome of) each case of research misconduct. Respondents found guilty of research misconduct have an opportunity to appeal the findings and recommended corrective actions to the Under Secretary for Health.
Each VA medical center that conducts research must designate an individual to serve as the Research Integrity Officer (RIO) for the facility’s research program (see RIO Contact List). RIOs are responsible for: receiving formal allegations of research misconduct; determining whether alleged misconduct falls within the scope of VHA Handbook 1058.02 and meets the required threshold for opening an Inquiry; providing local oversight of research misconduct Inquiries and Investigations; sequestering, maintaining, and ensuring the confidentiality of documents and evidence; forwarding all information to the appropriate offices or persons as required by VHA Handbook 1058.02; and serving as a liaison between the VA facility and ORO Central Office.
Questions? Contact —
Douglas Bannerman, PhD