• Article

Preparing whistleblowers for reporting research misconduct

Making an allegation of research misconduct can be stressful for a whistleblower. The Research Integrity Officer (RIO) can play an important role in helping reduce the stress by thoroughly discussing what whistleblowers can expect if they make an allegation. Through interviews with 77 RIOs who had recently handled a research misconduct case, we found that RIOs who addressed more topics as well as specific aspects of the topics were more likely to have used some type of memory aide in their initial contact with whistleblowers, talked with ORI staff or other RIOs about 'hypothetical' research misconduct cases, or attended a RIO boot camp training. We believe that RIOs who more fully inform whistleblowers are providing timely preparation and building whistleblowers' confidence so they can make a more informed decision about reporting and experience less stress


Bonito, A., Titus, SL., Greene, A., Amoozegar, J., Eicheldinger, C., & Wright, DE. (2012). Preparing whistleblowers for reporting research misconduct. Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance, 19(5), 308-328. https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2012.718683