42 CFR 93.307 - Institutional inquiry.
(a) Criteria warranting an inquiry. An inquiry is warranted if the allegation -
(1) Falls within the definition of research misconduct under this part;
(2) Is within § 93.102; and
(3) Is sufficiently credible and specific so that potential evidence of research misconduct may be identified.
(b) Notice to respondent and custody of research records. At the time of or before beginning an inquiry, an institution must make a good faith effort to notify in writing the presumed respondent, if any. If the inquiry subsequently identifies additional respondents, the institution must notify them. To the extent it has not already done so at the allegation stage, the institution must, on or before the date on which the respondent is notified or the inquiry begins, whichever is earlier, promptly take all reasonable and practical steps to obtain custody of all the research records and evidence needed to conduct the research misconduct proceeding, inventory the records and evidence, and sequester them in a secure manner, except that where the research records or evidence encompass scientific instruments shared by a number of users, custody may be limited to copies of the data or evidence on such instruments, so long as those copies are substantially equivalent to the evidentiary value of the instruments.
(c) Review of evidence. The purpose of an inquiry is to conduct an initial review of the evidence to determine whether to conduct an investigation. Therefore, an inquiry does not require a full review of all the evidence related to the allegation.
(d) Criteria warranting an investigation. An inquiry's purpose is to decide if an allegation warrants an investigation. An investigation is warranted if there is -
(1) A reasonable basis for concluding that the allegation falls within the definition of research misconduct under this part and involves PHS supported biomedical or behavioral research, research training or activities related to that research or research training, as provided in § 93.102; and
(2) Preliminary information-gathering and preliminary fact-finding from the inquiry indicates that the allegation may have substance.
(e) Inquiry report. The institution must prepare a written report that meets the requirements of this section and § 93.309.
(f) Opportunity to comment. The institution must provide the respondent an opportunity to review and comment on the inquiry report and attach any comments received to the report.
(g) Time for completion. The institution must complete the inquiry within 60 calendar days of its initiation unless circumstances clearly warrant a longer period. If the inquiry takes longer than 60 days to complete, the inquiry record must include documentation of the reasons for exceeding the 60-day period.