Research integrity and promoting the responsible conduct in research consists of both preventing any harm caused to the research subject, and behaviour in the researcher community. These are prerequisites for research to be ethically acceptable and reliable, and for its results to be credible. Applying these guidelines within the research community constitutes a form of self-regulation that is bound by legislation. Furthermore, the responsible conduct of research is an integral part of the quality assurance of research organisations. (You are now in Research integrity pages, if you are interested in research ethics pre-evaluation, you find information from here)
Aalto University has committed itself to follow the guidelines for ethical principles of research in the humanities and social and behavioural sciences as well as the guidelines for responsible conduct of research, both given by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK). In addition, Aalto Code of Conduct helps us to create a better work environment, protects our reputation, and towards our partners, strengthens our image of being a responsible and reliable organisation.
Each individual researcher and research group member is primarily responsible for complying with the principles of the responsible conduct of research. Nonetheless, the responsibility also rests on the whole research community. The research community shall by its actions promote the responsible conduct of research.
Research integrity: Responsible conduct of research
See the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK) on:
- Responsible conduct of research
- Authorship of research publications. TENK suggests that researchers participating in co-authored publications discuss the principles of authorship as early as possible, in writing. The practices vary across fields of science.
- Curriculum vitae (CV) for researchers. Researcher’s curriculum vitae should only contain verifiable items. This template helps to present an individual’s merits as comprehensively, truthfully and as comparably as possible. The CV template was updated spring 2020.
European code of conduct (ALLEA)
Research Integrity Adviser Network
If you cannot find help in the above materials, you can discuss with Aalto’s research integrity advisers in a confidential manner. They can for example guide whether to start an official process of handling misconduct (RCR) for which the President of the University is in charge. The research integrity advisers also communicate on research integrity in general, help to prevent scientific misconduct, act as contact persons towards TENK (Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity) and in general act as first contact points. They do not make a decision whether scientific misconduct exists or not, nor do they start investigating the cases. The research integrity advisers do not handle issues regarding cheating in studies (see below Ethical regulations regarding studies) not ethical pre-reviews (see below) Preventing any harm caused to the research subject).
Many of the cases discussed by research integrity advisors relate to questions on authorship. See below guidance on the topic.
More information on handling of research integrity miscoduct at Aalto University, research ethics and Code of Conduct in Aalto
The material supports introductory courses in doctoral studies to familiarize students with the topic of research integrity and ethics, focusing on the practicalities of being a responsible researcher using Aalto guidelines and practices. Login to MyCourses to access the materials.
As academic partnerships with the Global South continue to gain popularity, issues related to resource distribution, power dynamics, and whose voices are heard and valued often arise.
You can contact the research integrity advisers in person, via telephone or via email. The advisers are:
Research integrity and other concerns
Violation against research integrity are to be reported to the president of the University (see more detailed information on Handling of misconduct) There are also other channels to help you with your concerns that are not related or are intertwined with your concerns on research integrity.
Aalto University’s ethical channel is for notifying about illegalities or misconduct appearing in the operations of Aalto University or of companies in the Aalto University Group. Inappropriate conduct, harassment and reports related to occupational safety will be referred for investigation to the investigatory processes concerned with investigating such matters.
Reporting your concerns
Aalto University and its subsidiaries have an ethical channel where staff, students and other members of the university community as well as stakeholders may report any misconduct they perceive.
Preventing any harm caused to the research subject
The research subject has a right to protection of privacy and prevention from additional harm. What ethical review means is advance scrutiny and evaluation of a research plan in the light of the ethical practices generally followed in that particular discipline of science, with special emphasis on preventing any harm that the research or its results might cause to the research subject. A review applies only to precisely defined research configurations. It can be implemented also if the study’s publication forum, financier or an international cooperation partner requests it. Aalto adheres to the guidelines of Ethical review in human sciences (TENK).
Aalto University Research Ethics Committee is responsible for the ex-ante ethical evaluation of the university´s non-medical research projects in human sciences. The ethical evaluation of medical research projects are handled by the Ethics Boards of HUS – The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa. HUS, Ethical Boards (in Finnish).
The legislation on personal data protection also needs to be taken into account. See Guidelines on personal data in scientific research.
Especially regarding the requirements of research funding bodies you can turn to your School’s Research Services personnel.
Ethical regulations regarding studies
You can find the guidelines fo students from here: Aalto University Code of Academic Integrity and Handling Violations Thereof | Aalto University