You are expected to observe high standards of professional behaviour both in the practice and publication of your research. Any practice or conduct that seriously deviates from those ethical standards for proposing, conducting and publishing research constitutes research misconduct and a violation of University policy, which is available at:
Policy for Investigating and Resolving Allegations of Misconduct in Research
Note that there are specific procedures for dealing with allegations of research misconduct involving research supported by funding from the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). Allegations of research misconduct involving USPHS funds must be reported to Dr Neale Laker, Director of Academic & Corporate Governance, who will notify the United States Office of Research Integrity (ORI). The University will then work with the ORI to ensure that the process for responding to the allegation of research misconduct is consistent with U.S. federal regulations (see Appendix 2 of the above policy).
If you discover information which is believed to show malpractice or wrongdoing within the institution, then this information can be disclosed without fear of reprisal and may be made independently of line management. The code governing this process is intended to assist you if you believe that you have discovered malpractice or impropriety. It is not designed for the questioning of financial or business decisions taken by the institution; nor may it be used to reconsider any matters which have already been addressed under harassment, complaint or disciplinary procedures. The University will treat all such disclosures in a confidential and sensitive manner. The policy is available at:
As noted in section 2 of the policy, a disclosure should be made to the University Secretary, Dr Jim McGeorge.
The University of Dundee has completed an investigation into allegations of research misconduct by an individual member of staff under its Code of Policy and Procedures for Investigating and Resolving Allegations of Misconduct in Research.
The investigation found that the individual had committed serious research misconduct. Following the conclusion of the investigation, the individual has left the University. The University is satisfied with its investigation and is committed to learning lessons from it.
The University is communicating the outcomes of its investigation to relevant interested third parties, including funding partners. The University is also notifying the relevant journals in order for the scientific record to be corrected accordingly.
Update (May 2018)
Since the investigation, retractions or corrections have been made to the following papers:
Ryan RP, McCarthy Y, Andrade M, Farah CS, Armitage JP, Dow JM. Cell-cell signal-dependent dynamic interactions between HD-GYP and GGDEF domain proteins mediate virulence in Xanthomonas campestris. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2010 Mar 30; 107 (13): 5989-94 (https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0912839107). Correction published 30 January 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1700657114).
O'Connell A, An SQ, McCarthy Y, Schulte F, Niehaus K, He YQ, Tang JL, Ryan RP, Dow JM. Proteomics analysis of the regulatory role of Rpf/DSF cell-to-cell signaling system in the virulence of Xanthomonas campestris. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2013 Oct; 26 ( 10): 1131-7 (https://doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-05-13-0155-R). Erratum published on 16 March 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-05-13-0155.1-R).
Ryan RP, McCarthy Y, Kiely PA, O'Connor R, Farah CS, Armitage JP, Dow JM. Dynamic complex formation between HD-GYP, GGDEF and PilZ domain proteins regulates motility in Xanthomonas campestris. Mol Microbiol. 2012 Nov; 86 (3): 557-67 (https://doi.org/10.1111/mmi.12000). Retraction published 28 March 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1111/mmi.13670).
Ryan RP, Fouhy Y, Lucey JF, Jiang BL, He YQ, Feng JX, Tang JL, Dow JM. Cyclic di-GMP signalling in the virulence and environmental adaptation of Xanthomonas campestris. Mol Microbiol. 2007 Jan; 63 (2): 429-42 (https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2958.2006.05531.x). Correction published 18 April 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1111/mmi.13683).
An SQ, Febrer M, McCarthy Y, Tang DJ, Clissold L, Kaithakotti G, Swarbreck D, Tang JL, Rogers J, Dow JM, Ryan RP. High-resolution transcriptional analysis of the regulatory influence of cell-to-cell signalling reveals novel genes that contribute to Xanthomonas phytopathogenesis. Mol Microbiol. 2013 Jun; 88 (6): 1058-69 (https://doi.org/10.1111/mmi.12229). Correction published 21 April 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1111/mmi.13684).
McCarthy Y, Dow JM, Ryan RP. The Ax21 protein is a cell-cell signal that regulates virulence in the nosocomial pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. J Bacteriol. 2011 Nov; 193 (22): 6375-8 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.05949-11). Retraction published May 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1128/JB.00156-17).
Ryan RP, Fouhy Y, Lucey JF, Crossman LC, Spiro S, He YW, Zhang LH, Heeb S, Cámara M, Williams P, Dow JM. Cell-cell signaling in Xanthomonas campestris involves an HD-GYP domain protein that functions in cyclic di-GMP turnover. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2006 Apr 25; 103 (17): 6712-7 (https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0600345103). Retraction published 7 August 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1712524114).
Fouhy Y, Scanlon K, Schouest K, Spillane C, Crossman L, Avison MB, Ryan RP, and Dow JM. Diffusible Signal Factor-Dependent Cell-Cell Signaling and Virulence in the Nosocomial Pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. J Bacteriol. 2007 Jul; 189 (13): 4964-8 (https://doi.org/10.1128/JB.00310-07). Retraction published 25 May 2018 (https://doi.org/10.1128/JB.00235-18).
Earl CS, Keong TW, An SQ, Murdoch S, McCarthy Y, Garmendia J, Ward J, Dow JM, Yang L, O'Toole GA, Ryan RP. Haemophilus influenzae responds to glucocorticoids used in asthma therapy by modulation of biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance. EMBO Mol Med. 2015 May 20; 7 (8): 1018-33 (https://doi.org/10.15252/emmm.201505088). Retraction published 12 March 2018 (https://doi.org/10.15252/emmm.201870001).
Only one of the retracted papers (EMBO Mol Med. 2015) had authors affiliated to the University of Dundee at the time of publication. For the avoidance of doubt, the University of Dundee investigation did not find any members of staff other than the individual member of staff referenced above (who is the corresponding author of the said paper) to have committed research misconduct.