Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity
NWO-I believes it is vitally important that scientific research is carried out in an honest, scrupulous, transparent, independent and responsible manner during all research phases. After all, research that lacks integrity can cause damage and harm the trust in science and the trust between scientists or researchers. NWO and NWO-I therefore monitor the quality of the scientific research funded by NWO, and the quality of the scientific research that NWO institutes carry out.
NWO wholeheartedly subscribes to the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. With this code of conduct, the Netherlands keeps pace with international developments in scientific integrity. The code is endorsed by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), NWO, the TO2 federation, the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). These organisations ensure that the NWO Institutes, university medical centres, universities of applied sciences and universities that they represent or that reside under them, subscribe to this code. Other institutions, including private businesses, can subscribe to this code too. For further information, we refer you to the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity 2018.
Principles, standards and measures
The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity defines five principles. These principles can be seen as virtues that motivate a good researcher in various research phases (design, realisation, reporting, assessment and peer review and communication) to make the right choices: honesty, scrupulousness, transparency, independence and responsibility.
In this regard, the institution ensures a work environment in which good research practices are duly facilitated and safeguarded. For example, the institution ensures that researchers can work in a safe, inclusive and open environment, in which they feel responsible and accountable, can share dilemmas and discuss mistakes made without having to be afraid for the consequences (blame-free reporting). The duties of care concern the training and supervision, research culture, data management, publication and dissemination, and ethical standardisation and procedures.
Failure to comply with the standards has a detrimental effect on professional responsibilities. This harms the research process and the relationship between researchers, and possibly the confidence in and credibility of the research too. The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity distinguishes between violations of scientific integrity, questionable behaviour and minor shortcomings. The code describes how an institution must deal with potential violations of scientific integrity. The code gives institutions the room to reach a balanced assessment about potential violations of scientific integrity, but it also explicitly states the weighting criteria that play a role in this assessment.
NWO-I has appointed two confidential advisors Scientific Integrity: . The internal confidential advisor is Dr Tanja Kulkens (Head of Chemistry and Physics at NWO) and the external confidential advisor is Prof Thom Palstra, professor Solid State Chemistry bij de Universiteit Twente. Both can be reached via vertrouwenspersoonWInwofirstname.lastname@example.org.
When do you consult the confidential advisor ?
The confidential advisor can assist you in submitting a complaint. The advisor is also there to give advice, for example if you are wondering whether in a particular case violation of Scientific Integrity occurred and what you can do about it. The confidential advisor guarantees complete anonymity. Follow-up actions only take place if the person consulting grants permission to the confidential adviser.
Scientific Integrity Desk
NWO-I has its own Scientific Integrity NWO-I Institutes Complaints Procedure, which applies to complaints about (suspected) violations of scientific integrity by an NWO-I employee.
You can submit complaints about a (suspected) violation of scientific integrity by an NWO-I employee to our Scientific Integrity Desk via meldpuntWI-NWO-I@nwo.nl.
Everyone can submit a complaint about a suspected violation of scientific integrity via this service desk to the confidential adviser scientific integrity. If a complaint does not lead to a solution, then it will be submitted to the scientific integrity committee, which will investigate the complaint and issue a recommendation. Based on this recommendation, the NWO-I Foundation Board will establish an initial judgement. This initial judgement can be submitted by the complainant and/or alleged perpetrator to the National Board for Research Integrity (Dutch acronym LOWI).
On the NWO website, you can read more about how the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity was developed and revised.