Universiteit Leiden

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Academic Integrity

The integrity and reliability of academic research are of fundamental importance to the University. All parties, both within the University and outside, must be able to have confidence that our research is conducted in a scrupulous, fair, verifiable, impartial and independent manner.

Code of Conduct

Our policies on academic integrity are based on the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity 2018, drawn up by Universities of the Netherlands. The procedures relating to complaints about academic integrity and the position of the Confidential Counsellor for Academic Integrity at Leiden University are set out in the Leiden University Regulation on Complaints regarding Academic Integrity.  

Regulation and procedure

All staff and students at Leiden University have the right to lodge a complaint. This means that they can submit a complaint about a suspected infringement of academic integrity by a member of staff, or former member of staff of Leiden University. This is explained in the Leiden University Regulation on Complaints regarding Academic Integrity.

With effect from 1 January 2018 the Leiden University Committee for Academic Integrity and the Committee for Academic Integrity at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) have been merged into a single committee.

The new Committee for Academic Integrity comprises two chambers, one where complaints can be lodged relating to suspected infringement of academic integrity against staff and former staff of Leiden University. Complaints against staff and former staff of LUMC can be lodged with the second chamber.

Confidential Counsellor for Academic Integrity

The Confidential Counsellor is your initial point of contact for questions or circumstances related to academic integrity and any suspicions you may have about a member of staff, or former member of staff, of Leiden University. The Confidential Counsellor is bound to confidentiality and is independent of the Academic Integrity Committee, which investigates the validity of complaints.

The main task of the Confidential Counsellor is to give advice and to inform complainants of possible routes and procedures to be followed. The Confidential Counsellor, together with the complainant, will assess the nature and seriousness of the suspected violations and explore possible courses of action.

The complainant can, of course, choose to first discuss his or her questions or concerns with other asppropriate parties, for example, close colleagues or the Institute Director. In all cases, it is possible to submit a complaint directly to the Academic Integrity Committee if the nature and urgency of the case warrant this.

How do I raise a case of suspected infringement with the Academic Integrity Committee?

If you have any suspicions about a possible infringement of academic integrity by a staff member of Leiden University, we would ask you to follow our procedure.

Complaints against staff or former staff of Leiden University should be submitted in writing to the University chamber of the Committee for Academic Integrity.

Leiden University
Committee on Academic Integrity
P.O. Box 9500
2311 EZ Leiden

Focusing attention on academic integrity

The University is committed to creating a good and safe working environment where tolerance for mistakes that may be made in the search for new discoveries goes hand in hand with reliability in the recording of research findings. Debate between academics is one of the ways that academic knowledge can be advanced. Honesty is key to this process. Some examples are given below of how the University contributes to focusing attention on the issue of academic integrity.

Within all bachelor’s and master’s programmes, depending on the type of programme, attention is paid to ensuring that academic research is carried out scrupulously. For each programme, this is done in a way that is appropriate for the discipline in question. 

PhD candidates
Academic integrity is also an important element in the PhD track of our doctoral candidates. PhD candidates are offered courses at both university and faculty level. When they are appointed, PhD candidates sign the  Code of Conduct on Academic Integrity  and at the PhD defence the supervisor draws their attention to the obligations to society and to science that a doctor’s title entails. Furthermore, all PhD dissertations are checked for plagiasm before they are submitted to the doctorate committee.

All academics
All members of staff are required to register any ancillary activities in which they engage. Meetings are organised regularly at which issues relating to academic integrity are discussed. All new members of the academic staff sign the Code of Conduct on Academic Integrity and at the inaugural ceremony for new professors the Rector Magnificus draws their attention to the principles of the Universities of the Netherlands code.

Storing data responsibly
Managing and storing research data (data management) is important not only for the quality of the research, but also in order to ensure academic integrity. In 2016, the Executive Board established the Research Data Management Regulations that stipulate which standards Leiden researchers are required to meet when managing and storing their data.

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