Good Scientific Practice

Science is based on scientific honesty and trust. The observance of the Principles of Good Scientific Practice is essential in all scientific work. 

All staff members involved in scientific work are obliged to take part of and follow the guidelines for Good Scientific Practice of the Max Planck Society. In addition, all awardees and host institutes of DFG grants are obliged to follow the DFG “Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice”.

We aim to conform to the highest standards of scientific practice. To ensure good scientific practice we train all our new PhD students in a Good Scientific Practice workshop once they arrive at the institute and encourage senior scientists to participate as well. The ombudsperson, who is elected by all scientific staff members of each institute, provides support in the event of suspected misconduct. 

Main Principles of Good Scientific Practice

  • Scientists must be truthful and honest in reporting their research findings and follow generally accepted research practices. Misuse of statistical methods, testing into compliance or leaving out relevant data to influence the outcome of experiments is unacceptable.
  • Falsifying and fabricating data, as well as plagiarism and self-plagiarism, are considered scientific misconduct and will have severe consequences.
  • Research methods and findings must be accurately and extensively documented so that others can reproduce the findings.
  • Acknowledging other researchers´ work and ideas must be honored to create an environment where ideas can be freely exchanged and discussed. 
  • Scientists should maintain objectivity and a healthy systematic self-skepticism and be open for constructive criticism about their work. 
  • Researchers must support the validation of their research by others and have to respond when others fail to reproduce their results.
  • Senior scientists are obliged to mentor younger scientists and help them in their professional development and career.
  • Scientists are obliged to report suspected misconduct (`whistleblowing`).
Go to Editor View