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More information on the implementation of the Code

The Code is structured in line with a multidimensional approach known as the “three-level model”. The guidelines on the first level are highly abstract. They are followed on the second level by explanations that are still worded in a relatively abstract way. Publication of the third level of the Code planned for mid-2020 will be postponed until late 2020, as planned workshops with researchers and relevant stakeholders have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. These are now expected to be held by the end of the year.

The third level has been designed as a dynamic online portal and will contain subject-specific information, case studies and FAQs which serve to illustrate the content of the guidelines.

The Code is also divided into the five sections I. Foreword, II. Preamble, III. Standards of Good Research Practice, IV. Non-compliance with Good Research Practice, V. Implementation of the Guidelines. The Standards of Good Research Practice under III. are divided into general principles (Guidelines 1 to 6) while Guidelines 7 to 17 describe the key steps involved in good research work throughout the research process. The Code ends with procedures to follow in the event of non-compliance with good research practice (Guidelines 18 to 19), which set out the rights and obligations of those who report such a case and those affected by allegations.

Following the Code’s entry into force on 1 August 2019, all universities and non-university research institutions are obliged to implement the 19 guidelines in a legally binding manner to be eligible to receive DFG funding.

Information regarding the implementation of the Code

  • Levels 1 (Guidelines) and 2 (Explanations) of the Code of Conduct “Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice” are to be implemented analogously in their essence; verbatim adoption of the text of the individual Guidelines and Explanations is not required. It is possible to make references to regulations outside of the actual implementation text.
  • Please customise and substantiate the guidelines of the Code in a way that is appropriate to your institution when implementing them. It may be helpful to exemplify your regulations.
  • Aside from the implementation text itself, no other documents need to be submitted. However, if you make reference (as specifically as possible) to documents from your institution, please send us these documents.
  • You can use the guide to assist you with implementation:
    Interner Linkwww.dfg.de/formulare/80_10 (in German only) 
  • Information regarding amendments to the white paper on Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice can be found in the table on page 10 of the guidelines.
  • Please use track changes to highlight updates and modifications of your existing regulations resulting from implementation of the white paper.
  • Please send the document to the following contact e-mail address: Link auf E-Mailgwp@dfg.de
  • You can send the final draft version intended for the statutory body procedure at your institution to the Research Integrity Team, who are responsible for reviewing the implementation. Should the Research Integrity Team identify the need for amendments, this will prevent the often time-consuming statutory body procedure at your institution from having to be repeated several times.
  • You can find answers to frequently asked questions concerning the implementation of the Code in our Interner LinkFAQs (in German only)

The following variants are available for implementation of the Code:

1). Option one (normal case):

Universities and non-university research institutions implement the guidelines of the Code – generally in the form of statutes – in a legally binding manner and under their own responsibility.

If a non-university (research) institution cannot implement the guidelines in a legally binding manner under its own responsibility due to its organisational structure, its particular nature, or other circumstances, there are two different options for implementing and acknowledging the Code (options two and three).

2). Option two:Interner Link

Institutions to which this applies may establish an association with a (research) institution which has implemented the DFG Code and acknowledge the latter’s implementation of the Code as being binding for them.

Important information

  • Please note that the selected cooperation partner should be the body responsible for implementing the rules of Good Research Practice at the institution. In the case of universities, this is usually the university administration. This means that the cooperation is between the university and the institution in question; faculties or other institutions that are part of universities cannot act as cooperation partners.
  • During the transition phase (until 31 July 2021), please check to see whether your intended cooperation partner has adopted an implementation of the Code approved by the DFG, or is still operating under the regulations set out in the previously applicable DFG white paper. If the latter is the case, the cooperation is based on the implemented regulations of the white paper; this must be based on the cooperation agreement, which means that the sample text is to be amended accordingly.

3). Option three:

If the non-university (research) institution cannot find a cooperation partner, it can contact the Head Office of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) (GWP@hrk.de) which will provide details of a “partner institution” that is prepared, in cases of suspected research misconduct, to accept the individual case. In matters relating to ombudsperson duties, the institutions in question can contact the “German Research Ombudsman” statutory body. The guidelines of the Code are to be implemented analogously.

Please use the following template to send the supporting documentation for the implementation to the DFG:

If you have any questions, please send an email to: