Scientific integrity forms the basis for trustworthy research. It is an example of academic voluntary commitment that encompasses a respectful attitude towards peers, research participants, animals, cultural assets, and the environment, and strengthens and promotes vital public trust in research. The constitutionally guaranteed freedom of research is inseparably linked to a corresponding responsibility. Taking this responsibility into full account and embedding it in individual conduct is an essential duty for every researcher and for the institutions where research is carried out. The research community itself ensures good practice through fair and honest attitudes and conduct as well as organisational and procedural regulations. In different roles, scientific and scholarly societies, research journals, publishers, research funding agencies, complainants, ombudspersons and the German Research Ombudsman also contribute to safeguarding good research practice; they harmonise their conduct in publicly or privately funded research with the principles of the Code.
Individuals who report a well-founded suspicion of misconduct fulfil a crucial function in the self-regulation of the research community. Scientific and academic societies promote good research practice by developing a shared understanding among their members and by defining binding ethical standards, which they establish within their specialist communities. Journal publishers take account of the requirements of high-quality research with a stringent peer-review process. The German Research Ombudsman, an independent body, and local ombudspersons are trustworthy points of contact that offer advice and conflict mediation on issues relating to good research practice and potential misconduct.
Funding organisations also play an important role in establishing and maintaining standards of good research practice. Through the design of their funding programmes, they create a framework that promotes research integrity. By ensuring that procedures are in place to deal with allegations of misconduct, they also help to combat dishonesty in research.
Within the scope of its responsibility, the DFG has prepared the following Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice. They represent the consensus among the member organisations of the DFG on the fundamental principles and standards of good practice and are upheld by these organisa- tions. These guidelines underline the importance of integrity in the everyday practice of research and provide researchers with a reliable reference with which to embed good research practice as an established and binding aspect of their work.