Research integrity

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​​​​​​​A. Background & Definitions

Responsible conduct of research has multiple facets and the examples of unacceptable practices go well beyond the commonly known definition of research misconduct.

Traditionally research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing or reporting research results.

  • Fabrication is making up results and recording them as if they were real.
  • Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment or processes or changing, omitting or suppressing data or results without justification.
  • Plagiarism is using other people’s work and ideas without giving proper credit to the original source, thus violating the rights of the original author(s) to their intellectual outputs

In addition to such direct violations of the good research practices, examples of other unacceptable practices include, but are not confined to:

  • ​Manipulating authorship or denigrating the role of other researchers in publications.
  • Re-publishing substantive parts of one’s own earlier publications, including translations, without duly acknowledging or citing the original (‘self-plagiarism’).
  • Citing selectively to enhance own findings or to please editors, reviewers or colleagues.
  • Withholding research results.
  • Allowing funders/sponsors to jeopardise independence in the research process or reporting of results so as to introduce or promulgate bias.
  • Expanding unnecessarily the bibliography of a study.
  • Accusing a researcher of misconduct or other violations in a malicious way.
  • Misrepresenting research achievements.
  • Exaggerating the importance and practical applicability of findings.
  • Delaying or inappropriately hampering the work of other researchers.
  • Misusing seniority to encourage violations of research integrity.
  • Ignoring putative violations of research integrity by others or covering up inappropriate responses to misconduct or other violations by institutions.
  • Establishing or supporting journals that undermine the quality control of research (‘predatory journals’).

B. Guidance & Expectations

  • Check whether there are research integrity guidelines or recommendations developed by your institution, collaborators and/or your funder​​.
  • Use the corresponding folder of your Dossier ( to save information related to research integrity.
  • Make sure that you have a procedure in place to act upon concerns of potential misconduct (please see Toolbox item 4.2.3 Responsible conduct of research​)

​C. Resources

  • D. B. Resnik​: What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important? [[1]]
  • The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (ALLEA): [[2]]
  • WHO Code of Conduct for responsible research [[3]]
  • ENERI Research Integrity & Research Ethics Manual [[4]]
  • ENRIO Handbook on Recommendations for the Investigation of Research Misconduct [[5]]
  • German Research Foundation [[6]]
  • The Embassy of Good Science [[7]]


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