Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity
To provide clear standards to researchers and research performing organizations to uphold the highest standards of research integrity that accord with international developments for applied, fundamental and practice-oriented research.
In the words of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (revised version, 2017, hereafter referred to as ‘the ALLEA Code’), research is ‘the quest for knowledge obtained through systematic study and thinking, observation and experimentation’. Although disciplines may differ in approach and method, they share a motivation to increase and to spread our understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live. In our modern knowledge society, scientific and scholarly research has thereby acquired an indispensable role. In providing knowledge and understanding of all aspects of reality, science and scholarship also provide the building blocks for political decision-making and the stimulus for societal development and economic growth. Increasingly, the sciences and the humanities are subject to more, and better articulated, demands on the part of politics and society.
If scientific and scholarly research is to perform this role properly, research integrity is essential. This holds true for all disciplines. Research in the sciences and the humanities derives its status from the fact that it is a process governed by standards. That normativity is partly methodological and partly ethical in nature, and can be expressed in terms of a number of guiding principles: honesty, scrupulousness, transparency, independence and responsibility. Researchers who are not guided by these principles risk harming both the quality and the trustworthiness of research. This can take the form of direct damage, for example to the environment or to patients, and can undermine public trust in scientific and scholarly research as well as mutual trust between individual researchers. It is therefore vital that the principles of research integrity and the ensuing guidelines for good research practices be defined with the greatest possible clarity and be acknowledged and applied as widely as possible. That is the aim of this Code of Conduct, which plays a threefold role.
- For researchers, trainee researchers and students, it provides an educational and normative framework (chapters 2 and 3) that they are expected to internalize and be guided by in their research activities.
- For the executive boards of research institutions and for research integrity committees, it provides a frame of reference when assessing alleged research misconduct (chapters 3 and 5).
- For institutions, it sets out a number of duties of care (chapter 4).
Reference of the resource
Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (2018).