Wednesday, October 26, 2016
"(a) Public service is a public trust. Each employee has a responsibility to the United States Government and its citizens to place loyalty to the Constitution, laws and ethical principles above private gain. To ensure that every citizen can have complete confidence in the integrity of the Federal Government, each employee shall respect and adhere to the principles of ethical conduct set forth in this section, as well as the implementing standards contained in this part and in supplemental agency regulations..”

Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, Title 5, CFR 2635.101


Scientific integrity is the responsibility of everyone at NOAA, from bench scientists to the agency leadership, and we all need to cultivate a policy of honesty, tolerance, and respect

Cynthia J. Decker, NOAA Scientific Integrity Officer 

Welcome to NOAA's Scientific Integrity Commons - a place for NOAA's scientific community to find resources such as relevant policies, Frequently Asked Questions, and links to external training

To promote a culture of scientific integrity within NOAA and to support the agency's commitment to a culture of excellence, Deputy Under Secretary for Operations Michael Devany has named Cynthia J. Decker, PhD as NOAA's Scientific Integrity Officer.

NOAA has also created a Scientific Integrity CommitteeThe NOAA Scientific Integrity Officer and Scientific Integrity Committee will support the NOAA Research Council, NOAA Chief Scientist, and the NOAA Deputy Under Secretary for Operations in their respective responsibilities for oversight and implementation of NOAA's Scientific Integrity Policy, as outlined in NAO 202-735D and its accompanying Procedural Handbook.

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 and to denote the agency's commitment to a culture of support for excellence of NOAA's principal science asset, its employees. NOAA's Scientific Integrity Policy is founded upon existing policies within the Department of Commerce and NOAA, but updates and extends them substantially based on guidance from President Obama and Dr. Holdren.  The NOAA policy establishes reciprocal responsibilities among scientists, their managers, and those who use scientific results to set policy through a Code of Scientific Conduct and a Code of Ethics for Science Supervision & Management. The accompanying Procedural Handbook outlines how allegations of scientific and research misconduct are processed.  

NOAA's scientific integrity infrastructure involves additional policies and procedures to support the principles articulated in NAO 202-735D.  The following Table, NOAA’s Scientific Integrity Framework & Supporting Guidance, provides links to procedures and policies for communication of research results with the media; communication of research products (including guidance on expressing individual opinion); and service in an official capacity to nonprofit organizations. These important Department of Commerce and NOAA policies make up NOAA's comprehensive scientific integrity framework.

TABLE NOAA’s Scientific Integrity Framework & Supporting Guidance


  Scientific Integrity         Communication
Media & Social Media
Service on Nonprofit Board
 DOC Policy    DAO 219-1 Public Communications

Social Media Approval & Use
 Please see definitions & review requirements provided in DAO 219-1 Guidelines for Authorizing DOC Employees to Serve as Officers or Board Members of Nonprofit Organizations on Behalf of the Government
 NOAA Policy  NAO 202-735D &
Procedural Handbook
 NOAA Media Guidance Framework for Review & Approval of Fundamental Research Communications


NEW Scientific Integrity Committee Terms of Reference