Fundamental principles

Whatever the specific disciplinary approaches, research integrity is based on common principles that apply to research in all scientific and scholarly fields, and upon which good research practices are based in turn.

Respect for the essential values of research integrity

The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity emphasises their fundamental importance:

  • Reliability in the design, methodology, analysis and use of resources.
  • Honesty in developing, undertaking, evaluating and communicating research in a transparent, fair, full and impartial way.
  • Respect for colleagues, research participants, society, ecosystems, cultural heritage and the environment.  
  • Accountability for the research from idea to publication, for its management and organisation, for training, supervision and mentoring, and for its wider impacts.

Fighting against research misconduct  

The fabrication or falsification of data, plagiarism and other forms of theft of ideas seriously undermine the reliability of research. Although these fraudulent practices are fortunately rare, they must be avoided and firmly combatted on an ongoing basis by all those engaged in research, whether individual or collective.

Other forms of research misconduct are less rare but more difficult to characterise and are also breaches of integrity. They must also be combatted and avoided: selective citation, self-plagiarism, presenting misleading results or statistical analyses, etc. The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity provides an illustrative and open-ended list of such practices.