Everyone involved in education and research at TU/e bears personal responsibility for observing and maintaining scientific integrity. At TU/e we require strict compliance with the overall principles of professional scientific conduct in all cases.
The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity endorsed by 6 umbrella organizations, including the VSNU, which entered into force with effect from 1 October 2018, provides details of these principles. This Code replaces The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Academic Practice from the VSNU. Next to that TU/e has its own Code of Scientific Conduct. This TU/e Code of Conduct offers a more concise version, which also takes into account the specific characteristics of scientific activities at a university of technology. The TU/e code therefore includes norms for design-oriented activities, and it restricts the confidentiality of data and research results in the interests of researchers (e.g., PhDs, post-docs, PDEngs). At other points, where there are differences in nuance or formulation, the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity prevails.
At TU/e you are trained to carry out academic research with integrity. To make clear exactly what is meant by academic integrity, a code has been drawn up identifying five central values, each of which is accompanied by a number of related norms and principles. The central values are: trustworthiness, intellectual honesty, openness, independence and societal responsibility.
For example, as a scientist you may not lay claim to any results that you have not contributed to; this is a question of intellectual honesty. The Code was drawn up in consultation with scientists from many different fields and officially came into force in 2014.
The TU/e Code is a collection of guidelines expressing how you should behave as a scientist and how you can expect other scientists to behave. So the Code is not a legal document or a contract that you sign with the university. Other- often more specific issues- such as examination fraud and data confidentiality, are covered by other regulations and documents which often do have a legal status.
All academic staff and master’s students at TU/e are asked to sign the TU/e Code and in so doing to declare that they support the central values and will endeavor to carry out their research in accordance with the standards of integrity contained therein.
One of the ways to verify scientific integrity is the right to complain in cases of (suspected) infringements. The Executive Board has defined the complaints procedure scientific integrity TU/e for the practical handling of this right to complain.
TU/e has appointed two confidential advisors to support anyone faced with a possible infringement of integrity in seeking a solution and submitting a formal complaint.
The confidential advisor is:
Prof. dr. ir. S.C. (Sem) Borst
Phone.: (040-247) 5105
The secretary of the complaints committee is:
Dr. J.M. Habraken
Telefoon: 040 247 6259
The TU/e also offers the possibility to report anonymously through the TU/e SpeakUp Line. More information can be found on the intranet.
The Executive board of TU/e supports the European Commission actively in promoting Research Integrity in Horizon Europe. In the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, fundamental principles of Research Integrity are described such as: reliability, honesty, respect, and accountability. To facilitate and ensure that researchers can translate these principles into their own responsible research practices, the European Commission asks all Research Performing Organizations (RPOs) to provide a Research Integrity Promotion Plan (RIPP). This plan covers nine topics related to Research Integrity and describes how the organization (through appropriate procedures, policies and structures) facilitates researchers in all these topics.
TU/e welcomes this initiative from the European Commission, and it is more than willing to demonstrate the way TU/e is committed to facilitate TU/e researchers to conduct their research responsibly and with the highest standard of integrity. At present TU/e is bringing together all current structures, policies and procedures relevant to the topics of the RIPP on:
- Research environment
- Supervision and Mentoring
- Research Integrity Training
- Research Ethics Structures
- Data Practices and Management
- Research Collaboration
- Publication and Communication
- Declaration of Interests
- Dealing with Breaches of Research Integrity
Evaluation of what’s in place at TU/e and what are the aims for the future with regards to Research Integrity will be discussed and presented in TU/e’s first RIPP. By learning from other RPOs, and involving (representatives of) all relevant internal stakeholders in the TU/e community, TU/e will create a TU/e RIPP, that is widely supported within the organization and will collectively further enhance the standards for science at large. We will make use of the SOPs4RI toolbox as a basis for implementation and maintenance. TU/e’s RIPP is expected to be established mid- 2022.