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research misconduct

Research Misconduct is any research practice that deviates seriously from the commonly accepted ethics/integrity standards or practices of the relevant research community and includes but is not limited to intentional fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism as defined by the University’s Code of Honor – Articles Ensuring Good Scientific Practice.

Specifically, the following acts are generally considered instances of research misconduct, although research misconduct is not necessarily limited to these:

  1. Fabrication of recording or reporting and other falsification of data, results, or source materials in publications, applications or funding proposals;
  2. Committing plagiarism or any of the other offences such as copyright infringement and violation of intellectual property rights by appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without proper acknowledgment;
  3. Obstructing research activity of others;
  4. Participating in misconduct of others or co-authorship in falsified publications;
  5. Gross negligence of one’s obligatory supervisory duties;
  6. Misleading publication:  Failing to acknowledge submission of a paper to two different publications simultaneously; failing to provide proof of prior research findings made by others; failing to appropriately include as authors other collaborators in publications who prepared his or her contribution.
  7. Not reporting the performance by another university member of any of the acts noted above;

Contacts & Support Services

Responsible for overseeing investigations into any allegations and procedures for dealing with issues of research misconduct according to the Code of Honor to Ensure Good Scientific Practice are at the departmental level the designated members of the Formal Inquiry Commission as well as the University Judiciary Office:

a)     Members of the Formal Inquiry Commission listed according to departments

b)     Office of the Judicial Administrator

Executive Board of Freie Universität Berlin
University’s Office of the Judicial Administrator (RA 4)
Kaiserswerther Straße 16-18
14195 Berlin
Tel.: ++49 030 838 737 02
Fax: ++49 030 838 737 40
E-Mail: rechtsamt@fu-berlin.de

Process that addresses allegations of research misconduct:

  1. Complaints of Research Misconduct should be reported to the designated departmental member of the Formal Inquiry Commission. 
  2. The staff member in charge conducts a preliminary inquiry in compliance with the regulations as stipulated in the official university announcements (Amtsblatt 29/2002 dated 16.12.2002).
  3. The highest possible degree of confidentiality shall be maintained regarding all allegations, inquiries and investigations and all persons involved. 
  4. If a complaint of research misconduct is deemed substantial it will be referred to the University‘s Office of the Judicial Administrator who will initiate a formal investigation.  
The official announcement of the Code of Honor – Articles Ensuring Good Scientific Practice of Freie Universität can be found here:  Amtsblatt 29/2002 der Freien Universität vom 16.12.2002. The purpose of the framework is to promote research integrity among researchers,  to define generally acceptable standards of conduct in research and to provide a process for dealing with allegations of research misconduct.