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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Workshop research and information skills GEO1-2208 (Innovation Systems): 6. Academic integrity

Academic integrity

Academic integrity and honesty is an important demand that the academic community imposes on its members. Integrity is crucial in several scientific activities and on different moments:

In research:

  • Be open about your research objectives and share these with the human test subjects, interviewees and survey respondents
  • Protect personal/patients data extremely well
  • Obtain data in a legitimate way (so no fake data)

In research and publishing:

  • Mention external financiers or organisations that commissioned the research to third parties if they are asked for their cooperation: these external interests must also be mentioned in the publication.

In publishing:

  • Include references to the origin of your data. Acknowledge the creators if you use external data.
  • Include references to do justice to the work of others. All insights which are based directly on the work of others must be referred to in a publication, regardless of the form such as direct inspiration, paraphrases or verbatim citations
  • Only refer to sources which you have really read or seen. If a source is referred to the author must always have read or seen the original source. You cannot cite an original source on the basis of merely bibliographical data or mention in another source. At the most you can use indirect references like this "......, cited in....." but you weaken your case if you do this too often.
  • Only cite with respect to content, not because you want to help yourself or others, a journal or an organisation, to citations

In education:

  • Do justice to different scientific perspectives. A lecturer should not consciously withhold scientific viewpoints to students because he does not agree with them, or because they harm his personal or professional interests

Scientists feel an increasing pressure from society to stick to these rules. Being fully independent or at least the indicating clearly any competing interest and  interests of third parties is crucial to the credibility and use of scientific findings. These rules of conduct apply to all members of the scientific community, including students.

There are also various codes of conduct to which researchers and students must abide. You can find these at:

  • The Utrecht University list of codes (with among others the The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Academic Practice and the Code of Conduct for Scrupulous Academic Practice and Integrity)
  • Information on Fraud and Plagiarism at the UU student website
  • COPE: Code of conduct with rules for journal editors and publishers; these describe how editors should judge manuscripts. Many publishers have incorporated COPE into their practices.