Fundamental decision on breach of academic integrity
A former employee of Leiden University breached academic integrity. This is the conclusion of the University’s Academic Integrity Committee in its recommendation to the Executive Board on 11 January 2019.
In its recommendation, the Committee is of the opinion that applications for grants from academic funds also fall within the code of conduct for research integrity, and can as such be examined by an academic integrity committee. Grants awarded and the authorship of published articles play an important role in the appraisal of academic work, with regard to the conferral of doctorates and prizes, for instance. This implies that the omission of names from articles or grant applications can harm a person’s academic career.
The Committee has also determined that the person in question breached academic integrity by incorrectly mentioning or failing to mention individuals in grant applications and academic articles.
In addition, the Committee concludes that articles and conference contributions should not be submitted without co-authors having first been informed and given the opportunity to respond to the content.
The Committee says it sees no reason to doubt the content of the academic work.
Furthermore, the Committee has established that, at the institute in question, the practices with regard to grant applications and authorship were part of what could be termed an unsafe work environment. The Committee concludes that the appropriate channels for reporting possible breaches of academic integrity at an early stage did not function properly.
Over the last two years, the Executive Board and the board of the faculty in question have worked in close consultation with the Board of Governors of Leiden University and have taken measures to change the underlying culture at the institute in question.
The Executive Board of Leiden University has adopted the recommendation of the Committee in full and has since issued a definitive decision.
An anonymised version of the decision can be found on the University website (in Dutch).