Scientific Culture and Accountability

The Department of Cell Biology is committed to fostering a culture of integrity to promote responsible conduct of research. Policies and procedures are in place to promote a culture in which scientific results are critically reviewed and accountability for data integrity is clearly defined. Our Scientific Culture and Accountability Plan (SCAP) provides guidelines for encouraging responsible data management.

Cell Biology fosters an environment where scientific integrity is the highest priority, reflecting these guiding principles:

  • Emphasize high-quality, reproducible data and results which are stored and readily accessible for review.

  • Value constructive critiques of research.

  • Promote open discussion of any concerns regarding research conduct or integrity without fear of retribution.

Each member of the Department of Cell Biology – faculty, trainees, staff, and administrators – is expected to demonstrate and pursue these principles. We share a commitment to the highest standards of scientific activity.

Departmental requirements:

  1. All research staff will be required to read and adopt the Cell Biology Science Culture and Accountability plan. Staff will have access to and follow Standard Operating Procedures on data collection and storage within their assigned lab. Confirmation is required within 30 days for new employees and annually for continuing employees.

  2. All research staff will be required to undergo training in Responsible Conduct in Research at least once every three years. There are three options for RCR Training

    • Complete on-line training using the CITI modules.

    • Attend one of the workshops organized by the ASIST Office.

    • Challenge a one-time competency exam (link coming soon)

  3. Postdocs are required to maintain their RCR training up-to-date by taking a refresher every three years.

  4. Graduate students follow the training schedule of the graduate school.

#3  RCR – 200 Level Requirement:

Collaborative In-person RCR-200 level Courses are designed to engage our community in face-to-face discussions about RCR topics.  There are two options for completing an in-person RCR-200 level course:

  1. Attend an interactive workshop on an RCR topic

  2. Participate in an RCR discussion within your research unit

Visit the RCR Toolbox & Calendar to download materials for a unit-led RCR discussion and to view the RCR Workshop calendar. 

RCR Toolbox & Calendar

Self-Attest for In-Person RCR

Resources to help or reporting concerns:
All members of the Department of Cell Biology share the responsibility of insuring that data generated is of the highest quality and reproducible.  If you have serious concerns about data integrity, scientific or professional standards, we encourage you to discuss these concerns with the individual, your mentor, principal investigator, faculty or Chair.  Individuals should feel comfortable reporting concerns without fear of retribution.  The following institutional contacts are also available.
·      Anonymous Duke Integrity Hot Line (1-800-826-8109)
·      Research Integrity Office
·      Occupational and Environmental Safety Office
·      Duke Animal Care and Use Program
·      Duke Clinical and Translational Research
·      Office for Institutional Equity
·      ASIST Office – Advancing Scientific Integrity, Services and Training Office 

Department Contacts:
Scott Soderling, PhD, Interim Chair
Mollie Sykes, Business Manager