4 Researchers are responsible for conducting high-quality research characterised by scientific integrity, truthfulness, and accountability, and research institutions must create conditions that promote such practice.

Scientific integrity, truthfulness, and accountability are fundamental research ethics requirements. Researchers and research institutions have an obligation to familiarise themselves with and observe research ethics guidelines that are relevant to their type of research.

Scientific integrity

Researchers are responsible for respecting the research results of others and for exercising good scientific practice. Researchers must not conceal, misrepresent or falsify anything, whether in the planning, execution or reporting of the research. Plagiarism involves presenting the ideas or research of others as one's own.

The individual researcher has an independent responsibility not to accept departures from good scientific practice, on his or her own account or that of others.2 Researchers who discover or are made aware of errors in their research, must admit the error, correct it, and ensure that the consequences of the error are minimal.

Good citation practice

It is in the nature of research to build on research by others. Researchers who take advantage of the ideas and research by others, both published and unpublished, must acknowledge this accurately, so that it is clear what the researcher's own contribution is. Researchers must give a balanced and correct presentation of the research of others. Citations make research traceable and verifiable.


Researchers and research institutions must make data available to others for verification after a certain period. If the data are not used within this period, they should be made available to other researchers.

Within the framework of existing rules and regulations, institutions should have guidelines and procedures for preserving research data, in such a way that they can be retrieved - also after researchers have finished working at the institution.

5 Researchers must respect the contributions of other researchers and observe standards of authorship and cooperation.

Researchers must observe good publication practice. They must clarify individual responsibilities in group work as well as the rules for co-authorship. Honorary authorship is unacceptable. When several authors contribute, each authorship must be justified. Justified authorship is defined by four criteria, in accordance with the criteria drawn up by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)3:

a) Researchers must have made a substantial contribution to the conception and design or the data acquisition or the data analysis and interpretation; and

b) researchers must have contributed to drafting the manuscript or critical revision of the intellectual content of the publication; and

c) researchers must have approved the final version before publication; and

d) researchers must be able to accept responsibility for and be accountable for the work as a whole (albeit not necessarily all technical details) unless otherwise specified.

All authors in a multidisciplinary publication must be able to account for the part or parts for which they have been responsible in the research work, and which part or parts are the responsibility of other contributors.

All those who meet criterion a) must be able to meet b) and c). Contributors who do not fulfil all the criteria must be acknowledged.

6 When involved in reviewing the work of others (articles, theses, applications, positions, etc.), researchers have a responsibility to evaluate their own qualifications and impartiality.

If they are in any doubt, researchers should not take part in the review.

When acting as peer reviewers, researchers should abide by the following rules: i) researchers must recuse themselves as reviewers if they have been in a serious conflict with the author in question or if they have a direct cooperative or competitive relationship with the author; ii) researchers must acknowledge the limitations of their expertise where necessary.

7 Researchers must comply with national and international rules and regulations established to safeguard ethical and safety interests.

Good research practice entails observing national laws and rules, both in one's home country and abroad. This also means the researcher should carefully consider whether it is ethically defensible to comply with foreign legislation and regulations, if the ethical standards are different from those in their home country.

This implies that:

a) researchers apply for the appropriate authorisations for projects where it is required

b) researchers respect national safety standards imposed on laboratories and learn and teach others to use equipment

c) researchers do not locate parts of their research in other countries for the purpose of achieving lower ethical or safety standards

d) researchers inform funding institutions of any non-conformant ethical or safety standards in the countries in which their research is conducted.

[2] The Act on ethics and integrity in research (the Research Ethics Act).

[3] http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf