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Research ethics and integrity

The scientific enterprise depends to a large extent on trust. Our researchers trust that the scientific knowledge on which they base their own research is reliable, scrupulous, objective and impartial. In turn, academics from around the globe trust that our researchers apply appropriate methods of inquiry and analysis, report results honestly and accurately and maintain high standards of ethics and integrity themselves as well.

This trust-based quality assurance system requires from everyone involved in research to behave responsibly and ethically. The responsible conduct of research is considered a key priority at the Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as a whole endorses the rules as formulated by the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences (KNAW),  and as developed by Association of universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). At European level, the European Science Foundation (ESF) and All European Academies (ALLEA) have adopted an English-language code detailing the principles and rules relating to research integrity.

The VU Executive Board and the VUmc Governing Board have adopted an Academic Integrity Complaints Procedure. The procedure states how a complaint regarding a suspected violation of academic integrity should be handled. Within the context of this procedure, the institutions have jointly established an Academic Integrity Committee.

Rules alone are not sufficient to ensure academic integrity; the rules have to be observed and translated into concrete measures. This is an area in which new dilemmas are likely to arise and they can only be met with an adequate response if they are the subject of discussion in the workplace. The Executive Board of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Governing Board of VUmc have undertaken to organize and promote such discussions. 

In education, too, the issue of academic integrity needs to be addressed since a university education prepares students for a career in research or trains them for jobs in which they work with the results of scientific research. 

Partly with a view to developing educational programmes in this area, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and VUmc have established a chair in Methodology and Integrity, held by Prof. Lex Bouter.

Source: website Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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Philipp Tuertscher
  • Dr. Maria Tims
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Maria Tims