Working in close consultation with the Finnish research community, the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity, an expert body appointed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, has drawn up guidelines for good scientific practice and procedures for handling misconduct and fraud in science. The guidelines were updated in 2012.
The Academy of Finland is committed to complying with the Advisory Board’s guidelines and requires that researchers follow them as well.
Adherence to the principles of good scientific practice is primarily the responsibility of each individual researcher and research team, but the responsibility is also shared by the director of the research unit and the management of the organisations conducting research. Besides complying with good scientific practice, the research community and the individual researcher must also take into account the legislation in force.
According to the Academy’s general funding conditions, the site of research undertakes to notify the Academy’s Registrar’s Office if an investigation is started concerning violation of good scientific practice by the PI or a researcher of an Academy-funded project.
The policy of the Academy Board is that the Academy will not process a funding application if the applicant has been found guilty of research misconduct in the three years preceding the year of the call. In such cases, the application will not be processed by the decision-making bodies at the Academy, nor will it receive a funding decision. Information on research misconduct does not get through to Academy decision-making bodies.
If the Academy finds out about the misconduct during the funding period, whatever is left of the funding period will be added to the three-year limit. If the applicant appeals the decision on the misconduct, and the appeal is successful, the Academy will process the applicant’s new applications following normal procedures.
It is important to note that the research-ethical guidelines also apply when reviewing and evaluating funding applications, research programmes and scientific disciplines. The Academy has drafted special research-ethical guidelines for reviewers. All reviews must be handled confidentially, competently and impartially, based on the criteria set for the review process. General regulations on disqualification must be followed very carefully. Reviewers are guilty of research misconduct if they misappropriate research ideas from applications. Disclosing the contents of research plans to third parties is also regarded as an instance of inappropriate behaviour on the part of reviewers.
- Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland (Guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity 2012)
- Ethical review in human sciences (Guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity)