Research ethics

Research integrity enables ethically sustainable research practices and ensures the credibility of research results. Sound scientific practice is observed at every step of our research.

Tampere University is committed to fulfilling the objectives contained in the ‘Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland’ guideline issued by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity.

Ethical review of research

The ethical review of research ensures the adequate protection of research participants and improves the researcher’s legal protection. However, it does not remove the researcher’s or the research team’s ethical responsibility.

Medical research

The regional Ethics Committee of the Tampere University Hospital catchment area issues statements on medical research on humans, human embryos and fetuses in the Tampere area.

Ethical review in the human sciences

The Ethics Committee of the Tampere Region provides ethical reviews on non-medical research in the field of the human sciences in Tampere. Tampere University is committed to fulfilling the objectives contained in the ‘Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland’ guideline on the human sciences issued by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity.

Animal testing

The use of animals for scientific or educational purposes is organised in accordance with the Act on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific or Educational Purposes (497(2013) and the Government Decree on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific or Educational Purposes (564/2013).

Animal testing is guided and controlled by the Regional State Administrative Agencies.

Genetic engineering

The Board for Gene Technology is the competent authority in Finland regarding the use of genetically modified organisms in accordance with the Gene Technology Act (377/1995).

It issues permits on the use of genetically modified organisms in research.


 

Sound scientific practice

Sound scientific practice is a part of the self-regulation of the academic community, which is bound by legislation. It is also a part of the quality assurance system of research organisations.

Each researcher and member of a research group is primarily responsible for adhering to the principles of responsible conduct of research, but the responsibility also extends to the entire scientific community.

The principles of responsible conduct of research include the following aspects:

  • Integrity, meticulousness, and accuracy in conducting all phases of the study
  • Ethical and sustainable data acquisition, research and evaluation methods
  • Openness and responsible scientific communications when publishing research results
  • Taking due account of the work and achievements of other researchers, eg citing their publications appropriately
  • Planning and conducting scientific studies in accordance with the requirements set for scientific research
  • Acquiring the necessary preliminary ethical reviews that are required for certain fields of research. (See requesting a research permit at the Tampere Universities community)
  • In a manner suitable for all the parties involved, agreeing on the rights, principles and responsibilities of the research project or group as concerns authorship, use of data and user rights
  • Announcing sources of funding, conflicts of interest or other commitments relevant to the conduct of research to all interested parties and reporting them when publishing the research results
  • Refraining from all research-related evaluation and decision-making situations when there is reason to suspect a conflict of interest
  • Adhering to good personnel and financial administration practices and taking into account the data protection legislation

Researchers must comply with the practices listed above when working as teachers or instructors, when applying for research positions or research funding, and when working as experts in their field.

In addition to research, the principles of responsible conduct of research also apply to teaching materials, written and spoken statements, evaluations, CVs and publication lists as well as to societal interaction in both printed and electronic publication channels, including the social media.

Visit the ‘Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland’ guideline by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity. 

Tampere University’s Doctoral School provides education on sound scientific practices and research ethics.

Handling allegations of misconduct in research practices

Misconduct in research practices refers to unethical and dishonest conduct that harms scientific research and in worst cases invalidates the research results.

The violations of the responsible conduct of research can be classified into research misconduct and disregard for the responsible conduct of research. Research misconduct includes fabrication, falsification, plagiarism and misappropriation.

However, differences of opinion that result from the interpretations and assessments of research results belong to the academic and scientific debate and do not violate the responsible conduct of research.

At Tampere University, the President is responsible for taking action on allegations of misconduct in research practices.

All Finnish higher education institutions apply the RCR Process – the process of handling allegations of misconduct in research practices – in the same way. The process of investigating alleged cases of misconduct consists of three phases: written notification, preliminary inquiry and the investigation proper.

Visit the TENK website for further information.

Research integrity advisors

The Tampere Universities’ research integrity advisors provide confidential counselling in cases of alleged misconduct.

At Tampere University, the research integrity advisors are HRD Manager Päivi Salojärvi, Professor Seppo Nikkari, University Lecturer Marko Ahteensuu, Research Development Specialist Laura Himanen and Professor Jari Nurmi. Principal Lecturers Arja Halkoaho and Varpu Lipponen do the same at TAMK.