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AAU Submits Comments on the Department of Health and Human Services Proposed Rule on Research Misconduct Policies

AAU submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity regarding its notice of proposed rule making on Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct. AAU expressed concerns that the proposed regulations would “substantially increase – not decrease – the complexity of the research misconduct review process.”

AAU’s comments specifically focused on new requirements in the notice that “call for additional institutional processes and procedures at very early stages of the inquiry and investigation process;” that “shorten the current time requirements for institutional inquiries, assessments, and investigations;” and that change how inquiries involving “multiple respondents and/or institutions must be conducted.” AAU also requested that HHS provide clarity regarding its role and responsibilities compared to the institution in misconduct cases.

AAU noted its support for comments submitted by COGR, the Association of Research Integrity Officers, and APLU, and expressed strong agreement with COGR’s statement that institutions will require “significant time” to review the final regulations and to update their policies, procedures, and trainings. The letter strongly encouraged ORI to “increase its estimate of the time” institutions will need to update their policies and processes and to “provide institutions with at least a one-year implementation period after the date on which the final rule is published.”

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