Good Scientific Practice
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Scientific misconduct

Scientific misconduct does not only include obvious malpractice like fabrication, falsification and plagiarism. Misconduct can occur in all steps of the scientific process - proposing, data management, publication and authorship, mentoring, cooperation, and reviewing.

Sometimes, there are no sharp boundaries between severe misconduct, questionable practice and sloppy work. Causes of scientific misconduct can be unawareness, lack of education, or conscious deception.

Most German universities and research institutions give definitions of many forms of scientific misconduct in their GSP guidelines or statutes. In case of a concrete suspicion, investigative committees are called upon. Proven scientific misconduct may lead to sanctions.

Questions concerning good scientific practice or a suspicion of scientific misconduct can (or must) be directed to the ombudsperson of the institution, or to the Research Ombudsman.