Research fraud and other forms of scientific misconduct have unfortunately been shown to occur at various levels and within different disciplines. Lund University deals with suspected cases of scientific misconduct according to special regulations (STYR 2017/218). On this page, you can read about the main features of these regulations. You can also download the regulations in their entirety:
Obligation to report
At Lund University, there is an obligation to report any case of suspected scientific misconduct. The suspicion is to be reported immediately in writing to the Research Misconduct Review Board (referred to below as the Board). The report is to be handed in to the head of administration at Lund University.
What constitutes scientific misconduct?
According to the University’s regulations, each person involved in research activities at Lund University has a duty to ensure that research results are obtained, compiled and reported according to the values shared by the research community. Supervisors and co-authors are thus to ensure that the findings that emerge from the research activity have been honestly produced and correctly described.
Scientific misconduct covers actions or omissions in connection with research which:
- Lead to false or distorted research findings.
- Provide misleading information on a person’s contribution to research.
Examples of scientific misconduct are the falsification and fabrication of data, plagiarism, unauthorised use of information provided in confidence, unjustified claims to authorship, omission to follow ethical rules or equivalent rules and recommendations communicated by the Regional Ethical Review Board and the Central Ethical Review Board or another public authority.
Suspected cases of scientific misconduct are investigated by the Board (see above). As a first step, the Board is to swiftly conduct a preliminary investigation and – if the Board finds it warranted – recommend to the Vice-Chancellor that a full investigation should be conducted. If the Board finds the accusation unfounded, it can recommend that the Vice-Chancellor drop the case without a preliminary investigation.
The Board is also responsible for the full investigation and for putting forward a proposal for a decision. The Board may choose to request an opinion of the expert group for misconduct in research at the Central Ethical Review Board. Such a request should also be made if requested by the person suspected of misconduct or by the person who reported the suspected case, insofar as this is not deemed to be obviously unnecessary.
In order for a person to be held responsible, the regulations require the scientific misconduct to have been committed intentionally or through gross negligence.
Research funded by the Public Health Service
In addition to the regulations mentioned above, particular provisions apply to research funded by the USA’s Public Health Service via one of its bodies (National Institutes of Health, NIH). According to the terms of the agreement, if scientific misconduct is suspected, the University is bound to follow the rules in the Policies on Research Misconduct, 42 Code of Federal registration (CFR) sections 50 and 93 and in the NIH Grant Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards.
Furthermore, the University is to immediately notify the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) if it emerges that:
- there is an immediate risk and a need to protect the health of people or animals.
- there is an immediate need to protect the US government grant or equipment
- there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or violations of other legislation.
- there is an immediate need to obtain evidence
- there is an immediate need to protect either the accused or the person who reported the suspected case
- the discoveries should promptly be made known to the research community or the general public.
You can find more detailed information in the University’s regulations on the handling of matters relating to suspected scientific misconduct (see link above).
Do you suspect fraud?
Suspicion of scientific misconduct at Lund University should be reported immediately to the board for investigation of scientific misconduct. Any questions on filing of reports should be directed to the secretary, magnus.gudmundsson [at] fs.lu.se (Magnus Gudmundsson)
Do you have any questions regarding research ethics regulations? As an employee of Lund University, you can turn to forskningsetik [at] lu.se.