Research integrity and ethics

At the University of Oulu, the responsible conduct of research is promoted with quality assurance, with open science and research, and with courses on research ethics and good research practice. The courses are given for example to research group leaders and doctoral students, who participate in a national-level PhD course. Also the study program of Master’s students include studies in research integrity and ethics.

Researchers’ adhesion to the principles of the research integrity and ethics is part of the University’s quality assurance. The Unversity personnel and students are familiarized with the responsible conduct of research guidelines (RCR guidelines) and the process of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK) with extensive education.

University of Oulu has committed to follow the guidelines of the  Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK).

For more information, see the intranet Patio page (for internal users).

    The University of Oulu ethics working group

    Tasks of the Ethics Working Group:

    The task of the ethics working group is e.g. to facilitate discussion about the values ​​and ethical issues of the university and to think about ways to make the values ​​visible in the work of the university.

    During the term of office from 1 September 2018 to 31 August 2021, there are special tasks

    1. Promoting ethical and research integrity education and training at the University of Oulu and
    2. Ethical issues related to open science and research.

    Appointed members for the Ethics Working Group

    Mervi Heikkinen, chair, University researcher, Faculty of Education
    Anne Keränen, deputy-chair, Postdoc researcher, Oulu University Business School
    Pertti Tikkanen, secretary, Head of Planning, Unit for Strategy and Science Policy
    Aki Manninen, Professor, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
    Sirpa Aalto, Research Coordinator, Faculty of Humanities
    Hely Häggman, Professor, Faculty of Science
    Minna Ruddock, Research Director, Faculty of Medicine
    Riitta Keiski, Dean, Faculty of Technology
    Satu Pitkäaho, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Faculty of Technology
    Aija Ryyppö, Quality Manager, Unit for Strategy and Science Policy
    Heidi Huttunen, Human Resources Specialist, Human Resources Services
    Minna Soini-Kivari, Primary Teacher Student; Deputy Member of Student Union of the University of Oulu  Antero Metso, Medical Student, Student Union of the University of Oulu

    Contactfirstname.familyname@oulu.fi

    Minutes of the meetings (in Finnish): 1/20182/20183/2018, 1/20192/20193/2019,  4/2019,  5/20196/2019,  7/2019,    

     

    Research integrity advisers at the University of Oulu - low-threshold personal research integrity support

    The Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK) has trained more than 100 research integrity advisers in more than 60 research organizations to provide low-threshold personal advice on research integrity.

    Research Integrity advisers provide support for researchers and other staff in our organization. The conversation with the adviser is strictly confidential. Advice can be asked, for example, on notification of alleged RCR violation or if one has become a subject of such allegation.

    The adviser is familiar with the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and the instructions for notification of alleged RCR violations supervised by TENK and can, for example, assist in drafting a notification. However, they do not act as lawyers but are neutral advisers who, if necessary, advises both parties to the dispute. The advisers do not participate in the process of handling an allegation of misconduct. Nor do they comment on whether a misconduct has occurred. According to the TENK guidelines, this decision belongs to the top management of the organization.

    Research Integrity Advisers at the University of Oulu

    Heidi Huttunen, Human Resources Specialist, Human Resources Services
    Minna Ruddock, Research Director, Faculty of Medicine
    Satu Pitkäaho, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Faculty of Technology
    Mervi Heikkinen, University researcher, Faculty of Education

    Contact: firstname.lastname@oulu.fi

     

    Research Integrity institutions

    The Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK

    In 2012, the National Board on Research Integrity TENK, appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, renewed the research integrity guideline on responsible conduct of research and on handling cases of alleged research misconduct, i.e. the RCR guideline, in cooperation with the Finnish scientific community. The guideline entered into force on 1 March 2013 in organizations committed to the guideline, including the University of Oulu.

    Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland. Guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity 2012 (pdf, in Finnish, Swedish and English)

    TENK is chaired by Riitta Keiski, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, during the term from 1st of February 2019 to 31 January 2022.

    The Ethics Committee of Human Sciences at the University of Oulu

    In 2009, TENK prepared guidelines for human sciences research and its ethical review (pdf). The University of Oulu is committed to these principles. The ethical principles of research with human participants and ethical review in the human sciences in Finland -guideline was updated and approved by TENK 2019, after which the University of Oulu complies with the new guidelines.

    The Ethics Committee of Human Sciences at the University of Oulu  was established in autumn 2012. Its mission is to give statements on non-medical research projects of human sciences and process related ethical issues. The committee operates at the Eudaimonia Institute for Human Sciences.

    The Ethical Committee of North Ostrobothnia’s Hospital District (PPSHP)

    The ethical review of medical research is required by law and is handled by the Ethical Committee of the North Ostrobothnia’s Hospital District. The PPSHP ​​Regional Ethical Committee provides statements on medical and health science research conducted in the Oulu University Hospital’s area of ​​special responsibility, which is covered by the Research Act. The committee also has opinion-giving tasks in accordance with the Tissues Act and the Biobank Act. The Ethical Committee also monitors and directs the handling of research ethics issues in its area. The statement issued by the Ethical Committee is always a preliminary review of the research plan.

    The Advisory Board on Biotechnology (BTNK) 

    The Board for Gene Technology (GTLK)

    The National Advisory Board on Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics ETENE 

    National Committee on Medical Research Ethics TUKIJA 

     

    Action in problem situations

    Form for reporting allegations of misconduct of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

    The Research Ethics Advisory Board (TENK) has developed a template form for reporting allegations of misconduct of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). TENK thus responds to the need expressed by universities and other research organizations, as well as the Ministry of Education and Culture, to simplify the reporting of scientific fraud and to facilitate the preparation of the RCR report. TENK hopes that the structured form will streamline the processing of RCR notifications and harmonize practices. The form template has been translated in Swedish and English

    As the notifier does not have to be a researcher or a member of the scientific community, the form can also be downloaded from the TENK website. TENK does not receive RCR notifications, but the notification must be made to the research or educational institution where the research is mainly conducted or the suspected researcher works. It is good that the notifier gets acquainted with the research organization’s own instructions for making the notification. A notification of an allegations of misconduct of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) shall be sent to the Rector or Administrative Director of the University of Oulu.

    Form for reporting allegations of misconduct of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) 

     

    Harassment and bullying reporting policy at the University of Oulu

    Everyone at university has a responsibility to prevent harassment and bullying. Improper treatment can be addressed by notification. The University of Oulu has introduced a harassment and bullying reporting policy. Improper behavior can be reported anonymously by a web-form through which a student or employee can submit a request to deal with a bullying or harassment situation in accordance with the University of Oulu's operating model.

    More information on the prevention of harassment and bullying at the University of Oulu