Scientific misconduct (Ombudsperson)

Saarland University has issued guidance aimed at ensuring compliance with its principles of good scientific practice and at preventing scientific misconduct. The university has appointed an ombudsperson whose task is to provide advice concerning good scientific practice to members of the university (including doctoral students and those studying for their Habilitation). Suspected cases of scientific misconduct can be reported confidentially to the ombudsperson. The ombudsperson and all other persons involved in the complaint resolution process have undertaken to maintain full confidentiality.

What is scientific misconduct?

Scientific misconduct includes such activities as making misrepresentations or false assertions in a scientific context, violating the intellectual property of others (by misappropriating ideas, claiming undeserved authorship or co-authorship), obstructing or impeding the research work of others, or deleting primary data in breach of legal obligations.

What is good scientific practice?

Good scientific practice includes such activities as providing appropriate support and supervision to junior researchers, specifying suitable means of assessing scientific achievement and academic performance, and specifying and ensuring compliance with authorship guidelines. Good scientific practice is a prerequisite for achieving high-quality scientific research that is recognized as such internationally.

Appropriate training courses will be held in order to teach members of the university, researchers and students the principles of good scientific practice and to promote awareness of scientific misconduct.

What happens if a suspected case of scientific misconduct arises?

If you have reasonable grounds for suspecting scientific misconduct, you may contact the ombudsperson immediately. All consultations and the complaint resolution procedure itself take place in strict confidence, which means that all those involved can be sure that they will initially be talking only to the ombudsperson. All those involved in the complaint resolution procedure can therefore express themselves freely and without fear of loss of reputation.

Guidelines and principles