The Code of Conduct for Research Integrity guides scientific actions at the University of Oulu

The Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK has updated its national guidelines on research integrity. The research integrity guidelines have been developed in collaboration with the research community.

The University of Oulu committed to the new, updated research integrity guidelines 2023 on 5th April. The university was also committed to the previous guidelines and to the guidelines of ethical review in human sciences. Compliance with research integrity guidelines applies to the entire university community and is based on the principle of self-regulation.

Professor Riitta Keiski from the University of Oulu, who chairs the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity, has been instrumental in the drafting of the revised research integrity guidelines. "Important additions are the role of research integrity advisers, the appointment of advisers, and the adequate resourcing of the role within organisations. This will ensure that guidance and mentoring are available, for example in problematic research ethics situations. The University of Oulu already appointed research integrity advisers in 2017, and as the policy was seen as a necessary and good way to promote research ethics expertise and advice, TENK wanted to include it in the research integrity guidelines," says Keiski. Currently, the University of Oulu has four research integrity advisers.

At the University of Oulu, the research integrity guidelines apply to all scientific activities. "We promote research integrity for example by providing research ethics training and low-threshold personal research ethics counselling. In addition to the actual research work, the handling of research data, and publication activities, the guidelines apply to, for example, research evaluation," says Senior Specialist Aija Ryyppö, University of Oulu.

The most significant reforms in the research integrity guidelines are:

  • The duration of the research integrity process and the deadlines for requesting a statement from TENK have been shortened
  • The description of the role of the research integrity advisers has been added
  • The categorisation of research integrity violations has been aligned with international practice
  • To clarify the categorisation of the research integrity violations, a description of the assessment of the severity of the offence has been added
  • The principle of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity to protect those involved in investigations has been noted
  • The requirement to declare significant conflicts of interest has been added
  • The handling of alleged research integrity violations at B.A. and M.A. level degrees is assigned to the respective institutions of higher education
  • The term Responsible conduct of research has been replaced by Research integrity

The Universities Act requires universities to comply with ethical principles and research integrity. The Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK, appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, promotes the responsible conduct of research, prevents research misconduct, promotes discussion, and spreads information on research integrity in Finland.

TENK´s research integrity guidelines aim to promote research integrity and prevent violations in research in all scientific disciplines. It also includes instructions for the handling of alleged violations of the good practices. The basic principles of research integrity are reliability, honesty, respect, and accountability.

The Finnish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity and Procedures for Handling Alleged Violations of Research Integrity in Finland 2023 (PDF)

Last updated: 1.6.2023