This is where we collect frequently asked questions on the topic of good scientific practice and also specifically on the "Regulations for Ensuring Good Research Practice" at JGU. The questions and answers are continuously complemented and updated.

Do you have any suggestions for a new question or know of other useful sources of information on the topic? The Academic Integrity Competence Center (AkIn) would be pleased to hear from you!


Questions regarding the JGU regulations for ensuring good research practice and the (internal) procedure in case of suspicion

For the individual person, the respective regulations of the institution at which he or she is enrolled or works apply first and foremost. For members of JGU, be they employees, doctoral candidates or students, the regulations for ensuring good research practice and for dealing with research misconduct of JGU are therefore relevant in the first instance. National and international regulations, such as the DFG Code of Conduct or the European Code of Conduct, can be consulted if necessary and may be particularly relevant in the case of cooperation with other institutions.

When working scientifically, it is important to follow some rules in order not to misbehave scientifically. Every  scientist bears great responsability towards the (scientific) society. If one abuses the trust in science, this may have serious consequences for science. Some rules of good scientific practice are subject-specific. However, there are also many generally valid rules that apply across all disciplines when working or researching scientifically. Regulations for ensuring good research practice summarize these generally valid interdisciplinary rules.

"Research misconduct is considered to be any form of conduct in the realm of scientific activity that is likely to damage the knowledge acquisition process, trust in science, or the professional relationship of confidence amongst collaborative researchers. Research misconduct comprises in particular actions that compromise
the integrity of data and information, lead to false attribution of intellectual accomplishments, hinder the research activities of others, or harm the relationship of trust between supervisors and the persons they supervise or reviewers and those being reviewed" (Sec 15 para. 1 from the JGU regulations)

The types of misconduct include in detail:

  • Misinformation (Sec 16 JGU regulations),
  • Non-transparent handling of the scientific achievements of others (Sec 17 JGU regulations),
  • Interference with the research activities of others (Sec 18 JGU regulations)
  • Misconduct in special positions of power and leadership (Sec 20 JGU regulations)
  • Joint responsibility for research misconduct (Sec 21 JGU regulations)

Detailed information can be found in the indicated paragraphs.

Dealing with misconduct

The Office of Legal Affairs, the Department of University Development, and the Academic Integrity Competence Center have created a guideline for dealing with deception. You can find it in the toolbox "Teaching Academic Integrity" in the section "Kontrolle und Sanktion" (Control and Sanction) (access only with a JGU employee account). On the pages FAQ Examination Law you will also find further useful information, e.g. on the topics of deception, plagiarism, copyright.

In the event of suspected research misconduct, the Ombudsperson and the Commission for the Investigation of Suspected Research Misconduct of JGU will take various steps to clarify the facts of the case and possible sanctions. These are set out in the JGU regulations for ensuring good research practice in § 22-27.

A diagram of the procedure can be downloaded here as a PDF file (or here as a black and white print-friendly version).

Authorship, Publication, Open Access

"If errors or discrepancies are discovered after publication, they will be rectified by the authors themselves, or the publisher or publishing platform will be asked to rectify or retract and acknowledge them. This is the only way to ensure that research building on these findings is not impacted by previous errors. " (Sec. 4 Subsec 8 JGU regulations)

"When publishing research findings, everyone who has made a genuine, traceable contribution to a scientific textual, data-based or software publication must be named. Unless stated otherwise, all authors share joint responsibility for the publication’s content and must approve the final version prior to its completion. Approval to publish may not be withheld without sufficient and verifiable reason. " (Sec 10 Subsec 1 JGU regulations, Emph. AkIn)

"What constitutes a genuine and traceable contribution must be determined on a caseby-case basis and depends on field-specific practices. The contribution must have been
made to the scientific content of the publication. Authors are considered to be in
particular those who have scientifically shared in

1. the development and conception of a research project, or
2. the compilation, collection, acquisition, and provision of data, software, and sources, or
3. the analysis, evaluation, or interpretation of the data and sources, and the conclusions drawn from these, or
4. the drafting of the manuscript." (Sec. 10 Subsec. 2 JGU regulations, Emph. AkIn)

"To the extent possible, everyone involved in a research project must be granted the opportunity to claim authorship, even after having left a research group. The persons to be considered should already be named before the project is launched." (Sec. 10 Subsec. 3 JGU regulations)

"The naming of the authors and the order in which they are listed should follow the conventions of their discipline and comprehensible criteria. An agreement about the order in which they are listed should be reached and recorded as early as possible. Anyone whose contribution is not sufficient for justifying authorship may not be named as an author. Their contribution can be mentioned and formally acknowledged in the
footnotes, preface, or acknowledgments. Honorary authorship for anyone who does not fulfill either of the criteria mentioned in Section 10 Subsection 2 is not permissible. A management or supervisory function does not justify co-authorship." (Sec. 10 Subsec. 4 JGU regulations, Emph. AkIn)

Handling research data

"All information and steps in the research process relevant to the production of research findings must be documented in such a comprehensible manner as is necessary and appropriate in the concerned field to enable the verification and evaluation of these findings.

Documentation includes all relevant sub-steps of the research process. In particular, the following is considered required:

  1. the research data and findings collected, how they were generated, and how they have been used,
  2. the applied methods, evaluations, analyses, and interpretations,
  3. the intellectual property of others that has been used, and
  4. source codes (in the development of research software).

Individual results that do not corroborate the research hypothesis or interpretation must also be documented in order to be able to properly verify and evaluate overall findings. Ignoring such individual results opposes the goal of verification and evaluation and is therefore unacceptable.

If, in individual cases, documentation or parts thereof cannot be made or can only be made to a limited extent for technical, comprehensible reasons, this must be explained transparently and comprehensibly and be documented.

Documentation and research findings may not be manipulated and must therefore be protected against unauthorized access and manipulation to the greatest extent possible." (Sec. 5 Subsec. 1 - 5 JGU Regulations, Emph. AkIn)

"Researchers must comply with the legal framework applicable to a research project. These include documented agreements on the rights of use of research data and findings generated as part of the project. The use of research data belongs primarily to the person who collects it, subject to copyright regulations. A transparent agreement on the right to use the research data and findings from a project must be concluded as part of research collaborations and within work groups. In the event of a pending change of institution, rights and conditions for potential continued use of generated research data for one’s own research projects must be clarified at an early stage." (Sec. 6 Subsec. 4 JGU Regulations, Emph. AkIn)

"Research data underlying a publication are made accessible and stored in long-term readable formats for at least 10 years at the author’s own institution or in repositories or archives for research data across different sites. Exceptions exist for data that must be destroyed for legal or other science-based reasons. The JGU Data Center’s research data archive is recommended for archiving research data at the university. The storage
period begins on the date that public access to the research findings is established. The project managers of a research project are primarily responsible for this." (Sec. 6 Subsec. 6 JGU Regulations, Emph. AkIn)