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Overview of the Additions and Updates
The additions and updates to the DFG‘s recommendations on safeguarding
good scientific practice are summarized below.
The section on early career researchers has been revised to reflect its particular sig-
nificance. It emphasizes that early career support in science and the humanities must
be seen as a leadership responsibility. Doctoral researchers contribute to the continu-
ous generation of knowledge with their research and their ideas. Supervisors have a
key role in ensuring high quality standards and countering malpractice. The granting
of doctoral degrees and the assessment of the quality of doctorates are at the heart
of the research system. In consideration of all of the above, the recommendations
discuss a supervision concept for doctoral researchers (Recommendation 4).
Furthermore, the recommendations include guidance on dealing with whistle-
blowers (Recommendation 17), who are essential for the system of self-regulation
and therefore deserving of special protection, but whose own conduct must be
in accordance with the principles of good scientific practice. Investigation by the
ombudsman is one of several options which researchers can choose to draw at-
tention to scientific misconduct. Providing information about suspected scientific
misconduct within the framework of the ombudsman‘s investigations and the
other forms of self-regulation in research are different and complementary. The
principle of confidentiality formulated in Recommendation 17 applies exclusively
to the investigation by the ombudsman. Other forms of scientific assessment and
self-regulation are not within the remit of the ombudsman.
The ombudsman function is given greater weight in Recommendation 5. The
universities are explicitly called upon to offer the ombudsperson more support and
to make the function more visible to researchers and to those seeking advice at
their own institution.
Issues concerning the storage and use of primary data are set out in Recom-
mendation 7. Recommendation 8 is supplemented by details of the procedure
adopted by the universities and research institutions in the event of scientific mis-
conduct which stipulate a maximum period over which to conduct the whole
process and that in the interests of all those involved, complex cases should be
concluded within a reasonable period. In the interests of providing consistent
standards for good scientific practice, the relationship of the Commission for the
Investigation of Allegations of Scientific Misconduct with the offices involved in
granting and revoking academic titles should be clarified in the event of a title be-
ing revoked.
Authorship is a key area in the ombudsman‘s function and has been addressed
in more depth in Recommendations 11 and 12.
Finally, information about national and international standards has been added
to the recommendations.