Confidential Advisor (research integrity)

Science is predicated on trust. Without confidence in the integrity of their peers, researchers would be unable to trust one another’s work. Researchers should at all times follow professional academic practices and ethically sound teaching and research. Research integrity is, without question, of the highest priority, and misconduct in research should be avoided at all times. In addition, science has become increasingly dependent upon collaboration. Researchers working together has become more norm than rarity. It is possible that when working with others, questions or complaints about the integrity might arise.

However, misconduct only pertains to a small share of these complains. Collaboration is a frequent source of problems. It could be a mentorship that is not progressing the way it should, or perhaps the question of authorship has given rise to a dispute between coworkers. Issues of academic integrity can be difficult to deal with. As a result, the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and the University Medical Center have five confidential advisors with whom questions and complaints about academic integrity can be discussed.

More information can be found in the regulations for the confidential advisors for the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and the University Medical Center (Dutch).

The role of the confidentiality advisor is to give advice to those with questions regarding academic integrity, or to mediate and help come up with a solution between two parties that are in conflict concerning academic integrity. In any case, they are confidential: upon hearing the complainant they will not initiate any action unless requested.

For more information on research ethics and integrity and an overview of confidential advisors at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and the University Medical Center, follow this link.

Every researcher in the Netherlands has to declare they are familiar with the Dutch Code of Conduct for Academic Practice and that they will obey it. If you have concerns about the academic integrity of your research, do not hesitate to contact the confidential advisors.