Office for Professional Standards and Integrity
The Office for Professional Standards and Integrity (OPSI) is responsible for implementing the policies adopted by the Faculty of Medicine as well as the policies and regulations promulgated by the federal government and its agencies in the areas of conflict of interest, research integrity and scientific misconduct.
Conflicts of Interest and Commitment
OPSI implements and advises HMS faculty on the Policy on Conflicts of Interest and Commitment. OPSI has implemented the recommendations of the COI review committee. An Interim Policy Statement incorporating the recommendations into policy form is available. Office staff also support the Standing Committee on Conflicts of Interest, a faculty committee delegated with ultimate oversight over the policy.
In addition, OPSI manages the annual faculty outside activity reporting process for all HMS and HSDM faculty. Presently, the online CALENDAR YEAR 2011 OUTSIDE ACTIVITES REPORTING FORM (released April 2012) can be accessed at: http://ecommons.med.harvard.edu/gopage.asp?aoa.asp. A faculty member may link to his/her report at any time to update, revise or submit additional disclosures. OPSI anticipates rolling out the disclosure process for the 2010 calendar year in the spring of 2011.
Scientific Integrity and Research Misconduct
OPSI also takes the administrative lead in responding to any allegation of scientific misconduct involving an HMS or HSDM faculty member or trainee. In this role, OPSI staffs and provides support to the Standing Committee on Faculty Conduct and any faculty panel appointed to review an allegation under the HMS Principles and Procedures for Dealing with Allegations of Faculty Misconduct.
The HMS Standing Committee on Faculty Conduct authored a white paper (pdf) to inform the HMS/HSDM community about the various types of plagiarism, the situations that place faculty and trainees at risk for this behavior, and the seriousness of such research misconduct as construed by University statutes and federal guidelines. The Standing Committee hopes that this information will serve an educational and preventive function, ensuring that everyone in the HMS/HSDM community understands what constitutes plagiarism in order to avoid this serious breach of academic standards and, in some cases, of federal regulations.
Other Faculty Policies on Integrity in Science
OPSI also publishes Faculty Policies on Integrity in Science, including:
- Guidelines and best practices for investigators engaged in clinical and other scientific research.
- Guidelines for editors and authors of medical textbooks.
- Guidelines for determining authorship under Faculty of Medicine policy.
- Guidelines for letters of reference.