Research ethics and integrity

Wed nov 30 session 3 14:15 - 16:00

Chair: Eero Hyvönen (Heldig/Aalto)

Arto Mustajoki (Helsinki): Open Data in the Framework of a New Approach to Research Ethics


Traditional view on research ethics concentrates on compiling guidelines and rules which tell what is prohibited in research. I will demonstrate an alternative approach to ethical issues based on the forthcoming book by Henriikka Mustajoki and Arto Mustajoki A New Approach to Research Ethics: Using Guided Dialogue to Strengthen Research Communities (Routledge 2017). It provides tools for conducting dialogue on ethically relevant questions. in discussion on open data ethics as in making other ethically grounded choices, we can use three approaches: consequentalist, principles and virtue. In the consequentialist approach we consider harm and benefit from the perspectives of various stakeholders as consequences of different acts while in the principled approach we pay attention to the process and principles which regulate it. When applying the virtue approach we ask how an ideal researcher would act in the situation in case. In the presentation, some concrete examples are elaborated by using these tools.

About the speaker:

Prof. Mustajoki earned his PhD in Russian language from the University of Helsinki and is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Arts as well as professor of Russian language and literature at the University of Helsinki. In addition to his scholarly publications, he has published numerous Russian language teaching materials from dictionaries to computer programmes. His research interests include corpus linguistics, societal impact of research, research ethics, as well as social sciences and humanities research indicators. He is based in Helsinki (Finland).

Katrien Maes (LERU): Europe Needs Ongoing Efforts to Promote Research Integrity – What LERU Universities Contribute to the Debate


LERU is convinced Europe requires continued efforts to promote research integrity. In this talk I will present prevailing views on research integrity from within the LERU network, based on, for example, an examination of existing codes of conduct at LERU universities.

I will also talk about LERU’s activity on research integrity at the EU level, in relation to the European Research Area, Horizon 2020 and Open Science. LERU has urged the European Commisson to pay more attention to research integrity in its policies and has also been a staunch advocate for openness in science.

We have suggested to the EC that future H2020 grant agreements could reasonably require recipient organisations to (a) to have developed their own research integrity code or adopted a national or other recognised code, (b) take responsibility for dealing effectively with concerns or alleged research misconduct, (c) respond promptly to any concerns raised by other parties directly with the EC and referred onwards and (d) keep the EC informed about the outcomes of cases, wherever appropriate.

LERU has provided extensive input into the initiative to revise the “European Code for Research Integrity” developed by ALLEA/ESF (2011), which may serve as a recognised and useful reference document for future H2020 projects where needed.

Handling/investigating allegations and taking action in proven cases should remain the responsibility of the universities and other research providers. Therefore, LERU welcomes the revision of article 34 on ethics and research integrity in the Model Grant Agreement of H2020. At the same time we urge the EC to avoid excessive regulation that would make H2020 projects unattractive for researchers and increase red tape.

LERU also supports the EC’s efforts to foster Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), covering public engagement, science ethics, science education, gender equality, open access and governance. Ongoing and future H2020 projects to support the development and uptake of RRI are welcome with their results widely disseminated and carefully considered for future policymaking.

About the speaker:

Dr Maes earned her PhD in linguistics from the University of Delaware researching language acquisition and syntax. Currently she is the Chief Policy Officer for LERU (League of European Research Universities), an association of 21 European research universities that promotes the role and values of research universities in the knowledge society across Europe and beyond. At LERU she is responsible for policy development across all areas of the organisation’s research and higher education related activities. She is based in Leuven (Belgium).