Renewed code of conduct scientific integrity

On the 1st of October, the KNAW, NFU, NOW, TO2-federation, Vereniging Hogescholen and the Vereniging of Universiteiten handed the renewed Dutch code of conduct scientific integrity to Arie Slob of OC&W. On that day, the new version of the code officially went into effect. The different parties cooperated intensively on a thorough revision and expansion of the code, which dated from 2004. The code entails clear standards that can be used in daily practice by researchers from numerous research institutions.

Commission member prof. dr. Lex Bouter: “The affiliated organizations make it clear with this code that they perceive integrity to be an essential element of the field of research. We want researchers to be able to work in an open environment, in which they can feel comfortable and approachable. Science only progresses when people can share dilemmas and discuss mistakes. We wanted to contribute to this by means of this code.”

This code is a code of conduct for researchers and institutions in the Netherlands, who respect the boundaries of international frameworks. On the one hand, the code leaves room for institutions to come to a balanced judgement concerning potential violations of scientific integrity; but, it explicitly mentions the weighing criteria that play a role in that. This emphasizes how the code should be viewed: as a tool that researchers and institutions can apply themselves. But also other parties within the scientific system, such as financers of research (e.g. the government), publishers, journal editors and societal partners, can facilitate or inhibit good and integer practice of science.

With regards to the last version, some noteworthy elements within this code are:

  • The new code of conduct can be applicable to both public and public-private scientific research in the Netherlands.
  • The code of conduct explicitly offers room for cooperation and multidisciplinarity: the code takes into account the differences among (research)institutions. 
  • The duties of care within this code of conduct for the institutions are new. Hereby, the research institutions show that they are responsible for creating an working environment in which proper practice of science is promoted and safeguarded.
  • The new code of conduct scientific integrity makes a distinction between violations of scientific integrity, questionable behavior and small shortcomings.
  • The final chapter describes how an institution should deal with potential violations of scientific integrity.
  • On the one hand, the code leaves room for institutions to come to a balanced judgement concerning potential violations of scientific integrity; but, it explicitly mentions the weighing criteria that play a role in that.

The final matter clearly emphasizes how the code should be viewed: as a tool that researchers and institutions can apply themselves.

Source: intranet VUmc