Research ethics

The concept of "research ethics" refers to a broad set of standards, values, and institutional arrangements that contribute to constituting and regulating research activities. These include the duty of honesty in research as well as responsibility to colleagues, other people, animals, the environment, and society in the widest sense.

The obligations of research to society

1 Research has an independent responsibility for the role it plays in social developments.

2 Research should be compatible with sustainable development.

3 Research has a responsibility to contribute to greater global justice.

Scientific integrity, truthfulness, and accountability

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.

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

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.

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

Uncertainty, risk, and the precautionary principle

8 Researchers must clarify the degree of uncertainty in their research and evaluate the risk associated with the research findings.

9 Researchers must strive to observe the precautionary principle.

Protection of research subjects

10 Researchers must respect the requirement of freely given, informed consent.

11 Researchers must protect the privacy of their research subjects.

Protection of animals used in research

12 Researchers must proceed with due care and respect animal welfare when preparing and conducting experiments involving animals. Researchers must justify the necessity of the experiment to the responsible supervisory authorities.

13 Researchers must arrange their research in such a way that the use of the research results is not in conflict with fundamental animal welfare requirements.

The relationship between research and other knowledge-bearers and forms of knowledge

14 Researchers must acknowledge the economic and cultural value of other forms of knowledge.

15 Where relevant, researchers should engage in dialogue with other knowledge-bearers.

16 Research should involve the affected parties where relevant.

Commissioned research, openness, and conflicts of interest

17 Research institutions and the researchers involved must ensure openness and scientific quality in commissioned research.

18 Research institutions and the individual researcher must ensure openness about possible conflicts of interest.

Whistleblowing and ethical responsibility

19 When, in the course of their work, researchers become aware of matters that they consider to be in conflict with ethical principles or their social responsibility, they must have the possibility and, depending on the circumstances, the duty, to act as whistle-blower.

20 Research institutions must have independent mechanisms that can support employees in whistleblowing situations.

Dissemination of research to the general public

21 Research institutions should reward dissemination that popularises research as well as research-based participation in public debates.

22 Research institutions and researchers are both responsible for disseminating research findings.

23 Researchers should not misuse their titles to add weight to their views

Proposed scientific oath