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New European code of conduct for research integrity

The European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA – ALL European Academies) has released, at the end of March, a new European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.  The revised edition of the code has been developed in close collaboration with the European Commission and through extensive consultations with private and public sector stakeholders.

In comparison to its predecessor, the new code has a number of distinctive features:

  • it is drawn based on a broader, Europe-wide, consultation;
  • it is shorter clearly underlining the main areas of concern and responsibilities for researchers and funders; and
  • it specifically stresses the “responsibilities of research organisations to put in place the necessary procedures to prevent, detect and handle research misconduct”.

The code comprises three main sections, as follows:

  1. Principles – reliability, honesty, respect and accountability.
  2. Good research practices – dealing multiple aspects from the research environment. Research procedures, to safeguards and reviewing, evaluating and editing.
  3. Violations of research integrity – tackling both the types of research misconduct, as well as how to deal with violations and allegations of misconduct.

The revised code aims to fuel discussions at member states’ and researchers’ community level, increasing awareness of the importance of research integrity. It is hoped that this will help develop a “genuine EU culture of research integrity”.

Responding to developments for the growing importance of open access in scientific publications, the code particularly aligns with the EU’s Open Science agenda. The new code is already referred to in Article 34 of the Model Grant Agreement of Horizon 2020, which stipulates that "beneficiaries must respect the highest standards of research integrity — as set out, for instance, in the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity." It is also envisaged that the code will continue to be revised, au fur et à mesure.

European Commission – Factsheet
ALLEA – Press release and Full code