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Rules of Procedure for the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty

The following is stipulated pursuant to Section 16, subs. 1 of Danish Executive Order No. 668 of 28 June 2005 concerning the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonest

Section 1

The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty comprise three coordinated committees, jointly covering all fields of scientific research. The Committees have a joint chairperson.

The three committees are:

  1. The Committee on Scientific Dishonesty for Research in Health and
    Medical Science (USF).
  2. The Committee on Scientific Dishonesty for Research in Natural,
    Technological and Production Science (UNTPF).
  3. The Committee on Scientific Dishonesty for Research in Cultural and
    Social Science (UKSF).

Subs. 2. The detailed demarcation between the three committees shall be determined thus:

USF shall consider cases concerning research within human health, including nutritional aspects. The Committee shall consider cases concerning all aspects of both basic scientific and clinical research, including the use of animal models, targeting people’s health and human disease.

UNTPF shall consider cases concerning research aimed at basic scientific issues within natural science, computer science and mathematics. The Committee shall further consider cases concerning basic research within technology and production, where the point of departure is an application perspective aimed at solving problems or at new ways of meeting society’s needs.

UKSF shall consider cases concerning research within the fields of the humanities and the social sciences. The Committee shall consider cases concerning research within all aspects of history and culture, cognitive disciplines, linguistics and philology, aesthetic disciplines as well as economics, political science, sociology and jurisprudence.

Section 2

The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty are mandated to consider cases of scientific dishonesty of significance to Danish research, cf. Section 4, subs. 1 and 2 of the Executive Order.

Subs. 2. The Committees can consider general enquiries, provided that the issue involved is deemed to be of social interest, interest to a wider circle of researchers or to a research environment.

Subs. 3. The Committees shall play an instrumental part in promoting good scientific practice and preventing scientific dishonesty. It will be endeavoured to achieve this goal by disseminating a knowledge of the Committees’ rulings and annual report, and by means of teaching and lecturing activities etc.

Subs. 4. At the joint annual meeting, cf. Section 18, the Committees shall discuss initiatives capable of furthering the Committees’ cause.

Section 3

The chairperson shall decide which committee is to consider a particular case. In the event of any queries, the chairperson shall discuss the question with the Committees concerned.

Subs. 2. If a case concerns more than one committee’s sphere of competence, the Committee to which the scientific product being complained of primarily belongs can decide that the Committees must make a ruling on the case collectively and issue a joint statement.

Subs. 3. If the Defendant is a group of individuals, in accordance with subs. 2, the ruling can be made by the Committee to which the scientific product being complained of primarily belongs. In the event of queries, the chairperson shall make the ruling.

Section 4

The Committees can decline to consider a case if it is deemed
beforehand that:

  1. The case falls outside the Committees’ competence.
  2. The complaint may be deemed manifestly baseless.
  3. The costs of considering the case are not in reasonable proportion
    to its significance.

Section 5

Cases not taken up for consideration by the Committees shall be dismissed no later than three months after the Committees have received them. In cases accepted for consideration, the Committees shall inform the parties to the case of the anticipated progression and outcome of the case and the anticipated time for a ruling on the case no later than three months after receiving the case.

Section 6

If the case is accepted for consideration, it shall be incumbent on the pertinent committee to investigate the complaint and procure all necessary information in order to be able to make a decision on an adequately informed basis.

Subs. 2. Information provided by the parties shall form part of the Committees’ investigation and consideration of the case. The parties shall be heard by presenting the opposing party’s information and comments.

The hearing procedure shall consist, as a basis, of two written hearings between the Complainant and the Defendant; however, the scope of the hearing procedure shall be laid down in detail by the Committee following a concrete evaluation.

During the Committee’s first hearing of the Defendant, his or her attention shall be drawn to the rules in Section 1, subs. 4 and 5 of the Executive Order.

Subs. 3. In cases where groups of individuals are being complained about, the Committee shall attempt to clarify each individual’s contribution to the overall scientific product.

Subs. 4. In cases where a person wishes to be cleared of allegations of having committed scientific dishonesty, the Committee shall obtain a written account from the person in question unless it deems the allegation of scientific dishonesty adduced to be manifestly baseless.

As a prerequisite to considering the case, the Committee may otherwise request the person concerned to surrender all necessary information for use in considering the case. Following a concrete evaluation, the Committee shall decide whether a statement is to be obtained from any person or persons who have adduced allegations of scientific dishonesty.

Section 7

The Committee can appoint an ad hoc committee without decision-making authority whose brief is to investigate and prepare the case.

An ad hoc committee shall be composed of some of the members of the Committee, their alternates and/or external experts. The parties to the case shall be informed of the ad hoc committee’s composition and may produce any comments within a term of two weeks.

Subs. 2. As part of its preparations for the case, the ad hoc committee shall draw up a report on the actual circumstances of the case, which shall be submitted to the Committee. The Committee shall send the report to the parties to the case in order to ensure that any information of a factual nature in the report is correct.

The Committee shall subsequently send any comments the parties have to the ad hoc committee. The ad hoc committee’s report, the parties’ comments and the ad hoc committee’s comments on it shall subsequently be sent to the Committee with a view to producing a ruling on the case.

Subs. 3. The Committees’ secretariat shall provide secretariat services for the ad hoc committee.

Subs. 4. It shall otherwise be incumbent on the Committee, as part of its consideration of a case, to procure all necessary information in order to be able to make a decision on an adequately informed basis.

Section 8

If the Committee expects to express criticism on the grounds of any scientific dishonesty ascertained, the Committee shall listen to the Defendant’s views on a draft of its statement.

Section 9

The Committee shall complete its consideration of a case by submitting a statement. Among other things, the statement shall account for:

  1. Particulars of the case.
  2. Statements from the parties to the case.
  3. The Committee’s deliberations.
  4. The Committee’s conclusion and, in the event of dissent, the number of members or alternates who have endorsed the conclusion, as well as any dissenting opinions, cf. Section 17, subs. 3.

Section 10

The Committee shall recommend to the parties that a case be dealt with in confidence until such time as a ruling is in place.
Subs. 2. Cases ruled on shall be discussed in the Committees’ annual report in depersonalized form.

Section 11

The parties to the case may be assisted by advocates.

Section 12

Cases shall be decided at a meeting of the Committee, cf. however Section 13, subs. 3.

Section 13

One of the chairperson’s tasks is to ensure uniformity of the casework procedure across the Committees.

Subs. 2. If a case will unquestionably have to be dismissed because it falls outside the Committees’ competence or because the complaint is manifestly baseless, the chairperson can reject the case on his or her own initiative. The relevant committee shall be informed to this effect.

Subs. 3. The chairperson can determine that a case be resolved by means of a written vote if, taking into consideration the nature of the case, there is deemed to be no need for consideration at a meeting. At any time whatsoever, any member of the Committee can demand that the case be heard at a meeting.

Subs. 4. The chairperson may decide that the parties can be granted an audience with the Committee.

Subs. 5. The chairperson may decide that persons other than the Committees’ members, alternates and secretariat are to take part in the joint annual meeting, cf. Section 18.

Subs. 6. The chairperson shall decide whether a request for access to documents can be met. The chairperson can delegate authority to the secretariat.

Section 14

The chairperson shall make a ruling in legal questions and on the wording of a conclusion in cases ruled on.

Section 15

The Danish Research Agency provides secretariat services for the Committees. The secretariat takes part in committee and ad hoc committee meetings.

Subs. 2. On receiving a complaint, the secretariat acknowledges it by providing particulars of the anticipated case-handling procedure. Wherever possible, the Defendant shall be informed of the complaint within ten days of the complaint being received.

Subs. 3. As soon as possible after receiving a complaint, the secretariat shall present the complaint to the chairperson, who shall decide whether ordinary consideration of the case is to be initiated with a view to treating the complaint on its own merits, or whether there may be a basis for dismissing the complaint out of hand.

Subs. 4. If ordinary consideration of the case is initiated, the secretariat shall send consultation replies and other case-related material to the chairperson on a regular basis. The secretariat shall notify all members and alternates of the complaint received.

Subs. 5. The secretariat shall otherwise assist the chairperson and the Committees in their work, as determined by the chairperson.

Section 16

It shall be attempted to schedule meetings of the Committees giving at least four weeks’ notice. For meetings of the Committees, an agenda with business material shall be sent out with ten days’ notice, wherever possible.

Section 17

A committee is quorate when the chairperson and four members or an equivalent number of alternates is present.

Subs. 2. In cases where several committees make a ruling jointly, cf. Section 3, subs. 2, the Committees shall only be quorate if each committee meets the requirement in subs. 1 independently.

Subs. 3. To the greatest extent possible, the Committees shall agree on the ruling they make. If agreement cannot be reached, a ruling shall be made by a simple majority. Any dissenting member or alternate can demand that his or her dissent be indicated in the statement.

Section 18

An annual joint meeting shall be held with the attendance of members of the Committees and their alternates. The meeting shall not be public. At the meeting the chairperson shall inform those present of the rulings made on the individual committees during the year. At the meeting a decision can be made on topics of joint interest to the Committees, cf. also in this respect Section 2, subs. 4.

Section 19

The Committees’ chairperson shall chair the meetings.

Subs. 2. The Committees’ meetings shall not be public.

Section 20

The secretariat shall minute the resolutions at meetings. The minutes shall be sent out for written approval among those in attendance.

Section 21

In the event of a member’s absence or disqualification, the chairperson shall designate an alternate, who shall deputize for the duration of the consideration of the case.

Subs. 2.When appointing alternates, it shall be endeavoured to have the Committee provide specialist coverage of the area of scientific research in question, wherever possible.

Section 22

Once a committee has completed its consideration of a case, the secretariat shall send a copy of the ruling to all members and alternates on all three committees.

Section 23

These rules of procedure shall enter into effect on 15 October 2006.

The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty, 14 October 2006

Henrik Waaben / Annette D.N. Rasmussen

last modified Jul 05, 2013