In 2002, Freie Universität Berlin endorsed its own institutional ethics code (Ehrenkodex). This ethics code applies to all members of our university. It specifies what is considered good and professional research practice and ethical conduct (see also the Dahlem Research School's info page). It also outlines processes of how deal with possible cases of misconduct. Furthermore, the European Charter for Researchersrequires a commitment to professional standards and ethical behaviour (pp. 11-13).
Our DPBR members ratify this ethics code as part of their supervisory agreement (Betreuungsvereinbarung). By this we ensure that every member is informed about what is expected of them regarding their conduct and we gather their explicit consent. You can view the ethics code here: Ehrenkodex.pdf
As a structured PhD program, we understand it as especially our responsibility to educate young researchers about good scientific practice and ethical conduct. The content of our taught modules ensures that both professional research methods are taught and that issues of research ethics are discussed and participants' questions are addressed. Thus, strong academic ethics become part of each PhD's education. If you have any questions on ethical conduct or become aware of cases of misconduct among program members, please contact us or your respective responsible confidants (ombudsperson).
Recently, severe cases of academic misconduct among researchers and politicians have sparked a public debate regarding the conduct of scientists and researchers. Frequently, issues such as plagiarism, self-plagiarism, manipulation, fabrication or intentional misinterpretation of empirical data, citation and quotation rules etc. have become the content of this debate. In order to stimulate the debate among our members, we provide collection of links on the subject and the debate below. Please feel encouraged to raise awareness and initiate a debate among your junior and senior colleagues, professors, students, external fellows and other people in academia.
News reports on two well documented German cases of academic misconduct of scientists:
1. Prof. Dr. Lichtenthaler:
2. Prof. Dr. Bruno Frey: