organizations. The OSIR's report describes the investigative process as follows (DHHS, 1991b, p. 4):
The typical investigation conducted by institutions involved interviews of the subject, the informant, and other relevant parties, review of publications, manuscripts, or other documents, review of data notebooks, and in a few cases, site visits to the laboratories involved. In 5 of the outside [i.e., non-PHS] investigations, the subject was accompanied by legal counsel during meetings with the panel, with counsel acting in an advisory capacity. Interviews were recorded or transcribed in 6 of the outside investigations and in 2 of the PHS investigations.
One institution held a formal hearing before a five-member “Hearing Board.” Provision was made for full disclosure of evidence prior to the hearing, testimony from witnesses, cross examination of witnesses by the subject's attorney, and written and oral summary positions at the end of the hearing. The hearing transcript was made available within ten days and the record was kept open for about two weeks to allow for additional information or comment.
The time required for outside institutions to complete investigations varied from one to 12 months. The majority of the outside investigations for which PHS accepted the conclusions were completed within 4 months (10 out of 16). One of the investigations conducted by PHS components took 12 months, one lasted 9 months, one 7 months, one 3 months, and one 2.5 months.
There does not appear to be any systematic relationship between the nature of the alleged misconduct and the amount of time required to conduct an investigation.
In misconduct cases reviewed by PHS and NSF, research institutions have sometimes imposed sanctions as a direct result of their investigations, in some cases prior to or in addition to governmental actions. Private settlements between a research institution and an individual accused of misconduct have also been reported, in which an individual accused of misconduct agrees to resign in lieu of the institution initiating a formal investigation, although such settlements may not be consistent with government regulations. Cases involving serious offenses that could result in dismissal or termination of funding usually have clear distinctions between the investigative and adjudicatory stages. Most academic institutions have specific procedures that must be followed before severe disciplinary sanctions can be applied to tenured faculty. These procedures typically are invoked after the misconduct investigation concludes that serious misconduct did occur and that disciplinary action is warranted. In some cases, the investigative panel may then refer the case to a faculty conduct committee or an academic senate for adjudication. But am-