The United States Office of Research Integrity defines research integrity as "active adherence to the ethical principles and professional standards essential for the responsible practice of research." This definition indicates that being an ethical and responsible researcher requires not only individual commitments to moral standards but also learning of the norms that govern ethical research practice as well as appropriate frameworks for addressing ethical questions.
The Rock Ethics Institute works toward creating a variety of revenues for members of the Penn State community to explore and engage the ethical principles and frameworks which help them understand and practice research integrity in research activities. Efforts in this domain have resulted in a graduate level course in research ethics, which starts with the traditional components of responsible conduct of research (RCR) and extends to inquiries into broader ethical implications of research, a lecture series where renowned intellectuals come to share their latest research or thoughts on research ethics, among other things. The Rock also collaborates with the University Office for Research Protections on the Scholarship and Research Integrity Requirement (SARI) program.