Research integrity codes of conduct in Europe: Understanding the divergences.


Desmond H(1)(2), Dierickx K(1).
Author information:
(1)Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law, KU Leuven, Leuven, Flanders, Belgium.
(2)Department of Philosophy, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium.


In the past decade, policy-makers in science have been concerned with harmonizing research integrity standards across Europe. These standards are encapsulated in the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. Yet, almost every European country today has its own national-level code of conduct for research integrity. In this study we document in detail how national-level codes diverge on almost all aspects concerning research integrity-except for what constitutes egregious misconduct. Besides allowing for potentially unfair responses to joint misconduct by international collaborations, we argue that the divergences raise questions about the envisaged self-regulatory function of the codes of conduct.