Date: October 16th, 2018
Source: Nature Index
Picture: Lex Bouter

From punish to empower: A blame-free approach to research misconduct

The Netherlands has a new code of conduct, which outlines institutions’ duty of care to foster research integrity — a rare emphasis in such documents.

In many regions, including the United States and Scandinavia, codes of conduct have a legal basis. Serious breaches in research integrity are investigated by governmental committees, with an emphasis on sanctioning misconduct.

In contrast, the Netherlands‘ position is that research institutions should empower scientists to maintain the principles and standards of responsible research practice. Researchers and their institutions are expected to learn from their mistakes, and improve the quality of science. Rather than policing scientists, the Dutch focus is on blame-free reporting and inviting researchers to discuss the dilemmas they experience.

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