Whistleblower: someone who discloses or tries to disclose information that may evidence fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism.





WHAT and HOW to Report

What to Report:

UK community members have a duty to ask questions and raise concerns about something they think qualifies as research misconduct such as:

  • Falsification - manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record; 
  • Fabrication - making up data or results and recording or reporting them;
  • Plagiarism -  the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit;
  • Retaliation taken against a Whistleblower; or
  • Retaliation taken against a member of an inquiry or investigation committee.

Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion. If an incident has occurred that you reasonably believe is not consistent with ethical research practices, it is your responsibility to bring the matter to the attention of an individual or unit in a position to review the matter and take action to address it.

How to Report:

First and foremost, emergencies should be directed to the UK Police or 9-1-1.

There are a couple of ways to fulfill your obligation to report concerns of wrongful conduct. Before reporting, it is often helpful to seek clarification about the law, regulation, or policy you believe has been violated. You may find after closer review that a violation has not occurred. If, however, your review of applicable materials supports your reasonable belief, it is your responsibility to inform someone who can take action to address it.

There are a number of channels open to you, but only you can determine the most appropriate way to make a report based on the circumstances and your comfort level.


It is generally best to communicate the issue first to your immediate supervisor or manager.

UK Research Misconduct Hotline

There may be times when you do not feel comfortable reporting your concern to an individual or unit internally or feel that doing so has been unsuccessful in resolving the issue. In these instances, you should not feel restricted to reporting through traditional management channels. You may call the UK Research Misconduct Hotline toll-free at the phone number listed at the top of this page or submit a report to the UK Research Misconduct Hotline by clicking on the "File a Report" button on this page. In your report, you may remain anonymous, although providing contact information helps to facilitate an investigation of the matter.

The hotline is staffed 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week, by trained professionals who take calls and ensure reports are made to appropriate university personnel for follow-up. The hotline is designed for use by all members of the UK community - faculty, staff, students, patients, volunteers, visitors, vendors, contractors, etc. 

If you choose to report concerns through the UK Research Misconduct Hotline, you should be prepared to answer specific questions regarding the time and location of the incident or circumstances, who was involved, if there were any witnesses or others with information, and any detail or support that would be helpful in conducting a review to arrive at a determination.