Responsible conduct of research

Adherence to responsible conduct of research (RCR) enables ethically acceptable research practices and reliability of the research results. RCR is integral part of all phases of a research project.

Tampere higher education community is committed to by Finnish National Board on Research Integrity’s guideline Responsible Conduct of Research and Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct in Finland (TENK 2012).

Each individual researcher and member of a research group is primarily responsible for adhering to the principles of RCR, but part of responsibility also rests on the whole research community (i.e. supervisor, PI, research group, organisation). 

RCR and the Procedure for Handling its Alleged Violations

RCR includes…

  • meticulousness and accuracy in all the phases of research
  • Employing ethically sustainable data acquisition, research and evaluation methods
  • Openness and responsible science communication in reporting research findings
  • Taking due account of the work and achievements of other researchers, e.g. in citing their publications appropriately
  • Complying with the standards set for scientific knowledge in planning and conducting research
  • Acquiring necessary research permits and in case of certain fields and research projects submitting the research plan for the required preliminary ethical review
  • Agreeing (within a research project or a team from the beginning) on the researchers’ rights, responsibilities and obligations, on principles concerning authorship, and on questions concerning achieving and accessing the data
  • Announcing sources of financing, conoflicts of interest or other commitments to all research project members as well as  in reporting research results
  • Refraining from all research-related evaluation and decision-making situations where there is reason to suspect conflict of interest
  • Adhering to good personnel and financial administration practices and taking into account the data protection legislation
     
    RCR needs to complied with when working as a researcher, teacher, instructor, applicant for research positions or funding and in expert assignments. Besides research activities, the guidelines also apply to teaching materials, statements (spoken and written), evaluations, CVs and publication lists, as well as to societal interaction in both printed and electronic publication channels, incl. the social media.
     
    See Responsible Conduct of Research and Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct in Finland (2012) 
     
    Tampere University Graduate School organizes teaching and seminars in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and research ethics more generally.
     

Handling of Alleged Violations of RCR

Violations of RCR refer to unethical and unhonest practices. They harm scientific research and, at worst, invalidate the research itself.

Violations of RCR are divided into research misconduct and disregard for the responsible conduct of research. Research misconduct includes fabrication, falsification, plagiarism and misappropriation.

Scientific disagreements do not violate RCR.

The Rectors of Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences are in charge of the processes of handling alleged violations of RCR, respectively.

The RCR process is standardised and it includes three phases: a written notification, preliminary inquiry and the investigation proper.

See the RCR processes at Tampere University [coming soon] and Tampere University of Applied Sciences [coming soon].

Research Integrity Advisers

Research integrity advisers provide confidential guidance in suspected violations of responsible conduct of research.

The following persons are the research integrity advisers in the Tampere higher education community: Päivi Salojärvi, Seppo Nikkari, Marko Ahteensuu, Laura Himanen, Jari Nurmi, Arja Halkoaho and Liisa Marttila.

More information on intranet.

 

Ethical review

Ethical review of research ensures sufficient protection of the research subjects as well as strengthens legal protection of the researcher. It does not take responsibility away from the researcher or research group.

Medical Research

The Regional Ethics Committee of Tampere University Hospital provides ethical reviews of medical research conducted on humans, human embyos and foetuses in the Pirkanmaa, Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme and South Ostrobothnia Hospital Districts.

Non-Medical Research in the Field of the Human Sciences

Ethics Committee of the Tampere Region provides ethical reviews of non-medical research in the field of the human sciences.

Animal Experimentation

Use of animals for scientific or educational purposes is regulated by the Act (497/2013) and Decree (564/2013).

See Animal Experiment Board ELLA

Gene Technology

The Board for Gene Technology (GTLK) is the competent authority in Finland regarding the use of genetically modified organisms in accordance with the Gene Technology Act (377/1995). It processes notifications/applications in accordance with Government Decree on Chargeable Performances under the Gene Technology Act.

Research Permits

Data Management

Research data and data management are an integral part of research. Tampere higher education community continually produces new data, and therefore we at the higher education community provide services and guidance for research data management.

Research data are part of our Open Science and Research policy, as well as the Open Science action plans of Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences. According to the policy, central descriptive information (metadata) of the research data should always be open. Research data are as open as possible, as closed as necessary, depending on the nature of the data.

Our library assists in data management and gives wide-ranging guidance in open science. We are developing a Data Service that supports researchers and research, development and innovation (RDI) projects. Our independent institute the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) is an expert organisation in digital research data that curates and preserves data collected to study society, population and cultural phenomena.

We like to offer our researchers, staff members and students good opportunities to increase their data management competence so that the research data produced within the higher education community will be of premium quality.