An ethical code contributes to the quality of scientific research and justifies research for the outside world. The researcher shows the financier and society that the scientific world develops its own means to perform scientific research in a responsible way.
The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity was recently revised by ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities. This revision mainly relates to new challenges like the consequences of technological developments, open science, citizen science and social media.
Together with the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, the Code of Ethics for Scientific Research in Belgium applies as a basis and as a reference for evaluating reports.
The Code acknowledges and expounds upon the following principles:
- Accuracy: A researcher’s work is deemed to be accurate when he/she applies the generally acknowledged rules of his/her discipline with precision.
- Caution: A researcher’s behavior is deemed to be cautious when he/she acts with foresight and precaution and when he/she is guided by the concern to avoid harm to anyone else
- Reliability: Researchers are deemed to be reliable when they act in such a way that third parties can trust them to proceed in a professional manner, both in their scientific work and in their manner of reporting on it.
- Verifiability: Researchers’ work is deemed to be verifiable when it allows colleagues to follow the progress of the research and to reproduce it, if need be.
- Independence: In their scientific activities, researchers are guided by rules of a scientific nature, which are a condition of their independence.
- Impartiality: Researchers are impartial when they do not allow themselves to be influenced by their preferences, sympathies, interests or personal prejudices in the execution of their scientific work.
For misconduct committed by researchers during their tenure at Hasselt University or their academic commitment at a partner University College, please contact the Commission on Scientific Integrity.