Scientific misconduct

Do you need advice on the rules of good scientific practice or if you suspect scientific misconduct at an institute?

What is scientific misconduct?

Scientific misconduct occurs in particular when in a scientifically relevant context,

  • incorrect statements are made with intent or gross negligence,
  • intellectual property or other third-party scientific achievements are used without authorization,
  • the research activity of others is impaired,
  • there is shared responsibility in scientific misconduct or other failure to meet obligations
  • or if a criminal act or administrative offence is committed in a context relevant to science.

Who can you contact?

If you require advice regarding Good scientific practice you can contact the ombudspersons elected at the institutes. The ombudspersons will also provide you with confidential advice if you suspect a violation of the Rules of Good Scientific Practice. In addition, you can contact the ombudsperson of the Section. You can find the ombudspersons at the institutes and the ombudspersons of the Sections here.

The ombudspersons will treat in confidence any information brought to their attention concerning possible misconduct.

How can you report a suspicion of scientific misconduct?

If there are any significant indication that scientific misconduct has occurred, you should inform the managing director of the institute in question of the possible misconduct.

What happens with your report?

If a managing director recieves a report of scientific misconduct, he/she will inform the Vice President representing the Section to which the Institute belongs. If the suspicions do not appear to be completely unfounded, a preliminary enquiry will be initiated and the Department of Personnel in the Administrative Headquarters will be informed. Please see also the regulations for dealing with scientific misconduct​.

If the preliminary enquiry confirms that there are adequate grounds for suspicion in the matter, that could not yet be proven, the matter will be assigned to a formal investigation. The formal investigation will be conducted by an investigative committee headed by the permanent chairperson who, like his or her representative, should not be a member of the Max Planck Society. Should the accusation be proven unfounded   or if the enquiry shows proof of misconduct, a decision will be made within the preliminary enquiry procedure and  measures be taken, if required.

Go to Editor View