What are the models promoting research integrity in Europe?

The Committee on Education and Science of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and the Office of the Ombudsperson organised the international online discussion ‘Governance models of research integrity authorities in Europe: Where are we?’ on 7 October 2022. The participants of the event had the opportunity to learn more about the Austrian, Norwegian, French, Finnish, Swedish and German models of authorities similar to the Office of the Ombudsperson, and to look deeper into the characteristics of the activities of the Office of the Ombudsperson.

The participants were greeted by the chair of the Committee on Education and Science of the Seimas, Prof. Artūras Žukauskas. Lawyer Andrius Bambalas, who gave the first presentation in the event, shared his insights about legal challenges related to the decisions of the ombudsperson for academic ethics and procedures of the Republic of Lithuania – in particular, the ones arising while assessing the ratio between law and academic ethics. Foreign representatives also shared their experiences in the discussion. Kalle Videnoja, coordinator of international relations from the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity, presented a trust-based national system of research integrity and monitoring. Dr Hjørdis Czesnik, head of the German Office of the Ombudsperson for Research, spoke about importance of the confidentiality principle in mediation. Helene Ingierd, director of the Norwegian Research Ethics Committees, presented the activities of the committees in the field of research ethics. She noted that research ethics is compulsory not only for members of academic community, but also for the entire society. Karin Nylén, head of the National Board for Assessment of Research Misconduct, discussed the activities of the institution that was established only two years ago.

According to the speakers, self-regulation of higher education schools presupposes great responsibility, thus each institution has to undertake conscious actions after the establishment of researchers’ dishonesty. According to the practice of the European countries, the institutions usually act responsibly in such situations. The participants of the discussion noted that independence of institutions operating in the field of research integrity is especially important. It was considered that it is necessary to search for solutions and how to analyse alleged cases of research dishonesty in international research. The experience was shared in the event about students’ involvement and their role in the promotion of research integrity (e.g. the students take part in training in the field of academic ethics and create recommendations in work groups).

The video record of the discussion is available in Seimas’ YouTube channel.

Presentation of the participants in English:

Andrius Bambalas (Lithuania) | Kalle Videnoja (Finland) | Sabine Chai (Austria) | Carole Chapin (France) | Hjørdis Czesnik (Germany) | Helene Ingierd (Norway) | Karin Nylén (Sweden)

Information about quotation of the video record and presentations