NOAA Scientific Integrity Policy


As stated in the NAO, the purpose of the Policy is “to promote a continuing culture of scientific excellence and integrity, and to establish a policy to protect the integrity of the agency’s scientific activities used to inform management and policy decisions. In addition, the intent of the policy is to strengthen widespread confidence - from scientists, to decision-makers, to the general public - in the quality, validity, and reliability of NOAA science.  It also denotes the agency’s commitment to a culture of support for NOAA’s employees, which are its principal science asset.”

The NAO was originally revised in 2011 in order to respond to a memo from the Office of Science and Technology Policy on the topic of scientific integrity.  The policy was recently revised and approved on January 19, 2021. 

Under the NAO, scientific misconduct results when there is fabrication, falsification, plagiarism of or interference with scientific work conducted by the agency and its partners.  When misconduct is discovered within NOAA, the agency corrects the scientific record.  To clarify the process for identifying potential scientific misconduct, a Procedural Handbook is also available.  The Handbook was also revised recently.

These links provide NAO 202-735D.2 and the Procedural Handbook as approved in January 2021,

On January 27, 2021, President Biden issued a Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking.  The new version of NOAA's Scientific Integrity Policy is substantially compliant with the Presidential Memorandum. NOAA is currently reviewing its requirements and will update this policy as appropriate.

Scientific Integrity NAO 202-73D.2

Scientific Integrity Procedural Handbook NAO 202-73D.2