Q: How does crime differ from research misconduct?

1 Answer to this question

Although you've not mentioned "research" misconduct, I am assuming that is what you meant. 

Research misconduct is a serious offence that breaches the professional ethics and public trust as well. Most of the accusations in this regard are handled by the universities or institutions that the accused researchers are affiliated with. And while investigations that confirm research misconduct usually result in the retraction of research papers, suspension, finding bans, employment termination, rarely so such cases reach the court.  

However, this is a hot topic of discussion among academics. Some favor the criminalization of research conduct while others think that misconduct is not so extreme as to warrant criminal prosecution. Some countries such as China are trying to penalize researchers who have indulged in unethical practices related to conducting or publishing research. The main intent here is to encourage researchers to follow ethical guidelines. 

I'm sure you will find this article interesting: Should research misconduct be considered a criminal offence?