Research integrity

Scientific research is legitimated by the quality of its execution. Different stakeholders (citizens, government, industry, social midfield, …) count on scientific research for objective and nuanced knowledge accumulation of the highest quality. As one of the leading research institutions, Ghent University puts in efforts every day to maintain, improve and refine the quality demands of research. Therefor quality assessment is pivotal.

Research integrity is an important element of this quality assessment. The institutional policy plan offers a framework for maintaining and improving integrity in daily research practice.

Policy at Ghent University

It is the individual responsibility of all those involved in education and research to act with due academic integrity. Ghent University extends its monitoring duty by engaging in an institution wide ‘Policy Plan on Research Integrity’.

Ghent University sets great store by adopting a preventive two-track policy aimed at:

  1. Encouraging ‘Good Research Practices’ which improve the quality for the individual researcher, research and the research environment in general
  2. Improving the overall quality culture by adopting a research policy that pursues excellence while striking the necassary balances in order to guarantee the continuity of dynamic, ever innovative research.

Recent fraud cases all over the world have shown the need for a repressive trajectory as an ultimum remedium. The University has put the necessary procedures and mechanisms in place to act against researchers violating research integrity and to impose appropriate measures.

Commission for Research Integrity

Guarding research integrity is necessary. Judging if issues of research integrity have been violated is a difficult task. Therefore, in 2010 the Board of Governors established a Commission for Research Integrity (CWI).

Following the procedure, an investigative commission of the CWI determines whether or not there has been a violation of the 'Code of Ethics for Scientific Research in Belgium' and/or if the research practice complies with current regulations at Ghent University related to issues of research integrity (publication policy, (faculty) authorship regulations, charter for PhDs, …).

Lodging a complaint

Anyone may lodge a complaint about suspected misconduct in scientific integrity at:

cwi@ugent.be
Commission for Research Integrity
Research Department
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent

Second opinion?

If you’re not satisfied with the processing of your complaint by the CWI of Ghent University, you have the opportunity to ask for a second opinion with an interuniversity commission at the Flemish level.

In 2011 the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) installed this Flemish Commission for Research Integrity (VCWI). Their responsibility lies within:

  • Giving a second opinion in specific cases that already have been investigated by one or several Commissions for Research Integrity (CWI) at the Flemish universities
  • Advising in more general questions related to the broad topic of research integrity on behalf of the research institutions of Flanders

Contact:

Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten
Paleis der Academiën - Hertogsstraat 1 - 1000 Brussel
secretaris@vcwi.be - Bert Seghers
02 550 23 32