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Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice at the University of Cologne

The University of Cologne considers good scientific practice a prerequisite for top-quality research and teaching. Best practice standards form the basis of a university’s national and international reputation, its appeal for students and young researchers, as well as its attractiveness for collaboration with other research institutions and third-party donors.

The Committee on Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice was instituted in 2008. Prior to that, its tasks had been performed by the Committee for Research and Junior Scholars. The latter was replaced by the Scientific Advisory Board and the Committee for Junior Scholars. The Committee on Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice consists of one professor per Faculty, two representatives of academic staff, as well as the ombudsperson. The Committee is chaired by the Vice-Rector for Research by virtue of her position.

One of the Committee’s tasks is to help formulate and develop best practice standards. To that end, it can act on its own initiative in seizing new developments, or it can comply with internal requests for the adoption of recommendations. 

The Committee is moreover responsible for clarifying the circumstances of suspected cases of scientific misconduct. In doing so, it cooperates closely with the University’s ombudsperson. The Committee clarifies – inter alia by consulting relevant expert opinions – the circumstances of a case and prepares recommendations for the Rectorate of the University of Cologne.

The Committee on Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice meets at intervals of several months and can be convened as occasion demands. The fundamental principles of good scientific practice at the University of Cologne are set out in the Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Academic Practice and Dealing with Academic Misconduct.

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