Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice

Cover der von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft aktualisierten Denkschrift "Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis"

Good scientific practice means that researchers comply with certain rules regarding their work activities and behaviour in order to uphold scientific honesty and integrity. These rules aim to ensure respectful and fair dealings amongst researchers as well as to prevent scientific malpractice.

Self-regulation is one aspect of good scientific practice that is inherent to our research culture, and which reflects the recommendations of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) as follows: "Universities and independent research institutes shall formulate rules of good scientific practice in a discussion and decision process involving their academic members. These rules shall be made known to, and shall be binding for, all members of each institution. They shall be a constituent part of teaching curricula and of the education of young scientists and scholars." (Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice, DFG 2013)

The General Assembly of the Leibniz Association passed "Recommendations made by the Leibniz Association for safeguarding good scientific practice and handling complaints concerning scientific misconduct” in November 2015. In particular, the guideline sets out the role and powers of the Association's person of trust, as well as the procedural rules and sanctioning possibilities for the audit procedure. Nonetheless, all single Leibniz organizations are called upon to develop their own guidelines and regulate their decentralized procedures.

Our work is governed by "Rules to safeguard good scientific practice at the IOER and procedures to deal with scientific malpractice", which implement the recommendations of the DFG. These includes the rule that every research institute should appoint persons of trust – so-called ombudspersons – whose task is to investigate accusations of scientific malpractice. The Institute Director is responsible for the drawing-up and implementation of rules on good scientific practice.