Advisers ready with independent, confidential advice on responsible conduct of research

At the end of June, advisers in responsible conduct will be appointed by all four faculties in order to be available to provide other researchers and laboratory technicians with confidential advice on general questions relating to responsible conduct of research. They will also help with problems related to daily research practice – and also with any suspicion of scientific dishonesty in the research environment.

[Translate to English:] Foto: Jesper Rais.

The advisers in responsible conduct of research should not be viewed as a replacement for the research director, department head, or the dean. So anyone who prefers to take a question, problem or a suspicion directly to the management in connection with responsible conduct of research will be able to continue doing so. 

The advisers should rather be viewed as a supplement to the management and as an opportunity for confidential, independent advice to anyone who takes part in research activities. Confidential advice should be understood as meaning that the advisers may not disclose information to the management, which they have received in connection with their advisory tasks.

Suspicion of dishonesty

If a researcher or a laboratory technician presents information that provides a suspicion of misconduct or other behaviour that conflicts with responsible research practice, the adviser must recommend the person providing the information to report the matter to the department head, the Committee for Responsible Conduct of Research at AU, or to the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD) under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Duty of confidentiality – except when ...

The adviser must take action and is no longer bound by a duty of confidentiality, if he or she in connection with providing advice, becomes aware of very serious violations of responsible conduct of research. For example, violations that are of a very serious nature due to the method employed, or because they have been committed repeatedly, or have been committed by several people jointly.

High level of academic legitimacy and integrity

The advisers will be appointed from among associate professors, senior researchers, professors or emeritus professors at AU, who have a deep understanding of responsible conduct of research, extensive and long research experience, and who possess a high level of academic legitimacy and integrity.

Translated by Peter Lambourne.