Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities

"Because robust, high quality science and scholarship play such an important role in advancing the Department's mission, it is vital that we have a strong and clear scientific integrity policy." Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar

As of 28 January 2011, by creating Scientific and Scholarly Integrity Policy, the Department of Interior was the first federal agency to respond to the Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity (March 9, 2009) and the guidance provided by the Office of Science and Technology Policy Memorandum on Scientific Integrity (December 17, 2010).  The DOI Scientific and Scholarly Integrity Policy at Department of Interior is part of the DOI Departmental Manual (Part 305: Chapter 3).

The purpose of the policy is to establish the expectations for how scientific and scholarly information considered in Departmental decision making is handled and used. Scholarly information considered in Departmental decision making must be robust, of the highest quality, and the result of as rigorous scientific and scholarly processes as can be achieved.  Most importantly, it must be trustworthy. This policy helps us to achieve that standard.

The goals of the policy are to ensure that DOI:

  • Decisions are based on science and scholarship are respected as credible;
  • Science is conducted with integrity and excellence;
  • Has a culture of scientific and scholarly integrity that is enduring;
  • Scientists and scholars are widely recognized for excellence; and
  • Employees are proud to uphold the high standards & lead by example.

The policy applies to all DOI employees, including political appointees, as well as, contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, leasees, grantees, and volunteers,  when they engage in, supervise, manage, or influence scientific and scholarly activities, or communicate information about the Department's scientific and scholarly activities, or utilize scientific and scholarly information in making agency policy, management or regulatory decisions.

The policy creates bureau level Scientific Integrity Officers (BSIOs) and an agency-wide Scientific Integrity Officer (DSIO). SIOs are the primary point of contact for the policy implementation and they are the leads for initial review of any allegation of loss of integrity.

Frequently asked questions about the policy are available.

The policy creates a mechanism to assess an allegation of loss of scientific and scholarly integrity. See section 3.8 of the policy.  See associated appendices here.

The policy creates a mechanism to allow scientists to engage with their communities of practice (professional societies). See section 3.9 of the policy. See associated appendices here.

The policy is available in the DOI Departmental Manual.