Policies of Scientific Practice

This is a translation for information purposes. For all legal purposes, reference should be made to the German original.

University of Applied Sciences
Würzburg-Schweinfurt

Policies for Securing Good Scientific Practice

The following policies were adopted by the senate of the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt in its meetings on 23 April 2002 and on 23 July 2002:

General Policy

In order to exercise its responsibility in relation to research and the directly related tasks of teaching and supporting young academics, the university has to make provisions within the given statutory framework of how to deal with cases of scientific misconduct to ensure that the university can meet the expectations invested in it and that tax money or private funds are not diverted from their intended use.

Scientific Misconduct

Under this policy, intentional or grossly negligent misrepresentations in dissertations or papers, infringement of intellectual property rights or sabotaging other persons' research in any other way are considered scientific misconduct. The following examples in particular are considered misconduct:

a) Misrepresentations

  • fabrication and falsification of data
  • providing incorrect information in a letter of application or in an application for financial support

b) Infringement of intellectual property rights - with respect to a copyrighted work created by a different author or important scientific findings, hypotheses, teachings or research approaches by others:

  • the unauthorised use under the pretence of authorship (plagiarism), the use of scientific approaches and ideas, especially when acting as expert (theft of ideas)
  • the pretence of scientific authorship or co-authorship,
  • falsifications of the contents,
  • the unauthorised publication and disclosure to third parties prior to the publication of the work, finding, hypothesis, teaching or scientific approach;
  • the use of (co-) authorship of a different person without his/her consent

c) The sabotage of research (including damaging, destroying or

  • manipulating the set-up, equipment, documents, hardware, software or other objects necessary for someone to conduct an experiment).
  • deletion of raw data in so far as this violates statutory provisions or discipline-related recognised principles of scientific work.

A joint responsibility for misconduct may result from

  • an active participation in and joint knowledge of the misconduct of others,
  • the co-authorship of publications containing falsifications,
  • gross negligence of the duty of supervision.

Individual Regulations

  1. All scientific activities are bound to compliance with the rules of good scientific practice. Within the framework of research projects this is the responsibility of the person in charge of the project.
  2. By means of appropriate organisation, all persons in charge must secure that the tasks of management, supervision, conflict settlement and quality management are clearly assigned to a person and must guarantee that they are actually carried out.
  3. These regulations also form part of the training and support of young academics. The persons in charge of the project assure an appropriate supervision with regular meetings and reviews regarding the work progress.
  4. Performance and evaluation criteria for examinations, the awarding of academic titles, promotions, recruitment of staff, callings and apportionment of funds are to be determined in the way that originality and quality as standards of evaluation always have priority over quantity.
  5. The person in charge of the research project must assure that the raw data, as the basis of publications, will be stored on secure data media for ten years. Further duties to preserve records on grounds of provisions of law as well as measures for the protection of personal data remain unaffected thereof.
  6. Authors of scientific publications are jointly responsible for their content. Exceptions should be marked. Everyone who has made important contributions to the ideas, the planning, the execution or the analysis of the research work should have the option to become co-author. People who have made small contributions will be named in the acknowledgement.
  7. The executive board appoints a confidant in each department as person of contact for members of the University of Applied Sciences. The confidants represent each other. The confidant is the person of contact in case of suspected scientific misconduct. The confidant will verify the plausibility of accusations. The tenure of the confidants is two years. At the end of their tenure, they remain in office until a new confidant has been appointed. In case of substantiated suspicion of misconduct, the confidant reports to the president. The confidant reports back to the president on an annual basis.
  8. The university management can appoint a commission to investigate accusations of scientific misconduct. The commission consists of three members from among the professors as well as the confidant of the concerned department in an advisory capacity.

Proceedings - In the Case of Suspected Scientific Misconduct

When the confidant is presented with evidence regarding scientific misconduct, he/she will examine the situation according to professional judgement. If the confidant concludes that the suspicious facts indicating scientific misconduct are sufficient, he/she will inform the president.

The commission must clarify the situation according to their capabilities and report to the president. The commission decides on the proceedings after due consideration. The right to be heard of the person affected must be adhered to. In the case of counter-statements, the person affected, just like the informing party, has the right to demand a personal interview. The concerned parties' right of access to the files is determined by the general regulations.

If the commission has identified scientific misconduct and has reported to the president, the president will decide on further proceedings and consequences. 
Applicants for research and development contracts will be presented with these regulations for signing. When granting the authorisation for secondary employment, the regulations will also be pointed out.

Last updated: 23.07.2002

The following confidants are appointed by the senate: 
Department Würzburg: Dr. Niggemann 
Department Schweinfurt: Prof. Dr. Grupp