Research integrity and ethical behaviour are the cornerstone of excellent science and scholarship. On the one hand, researchers must be able to trust and build on the work of others. On the other hand, they must also be trusted by society since they provide knowledge and scientific expertise (Science Europe, 2015).

The University of Antwerp acknowledges the importance of research integrity and endorses 'the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity’ (the ALLEA code), as published in 2017 by the European Science Foundation and all European Academies.

Researchers are also expected to conduct their research in accordance with the principles of research integrity as endorsed by the UAntwerp (cf. Charter for PhD students and the ethical code of conduct and principles of the UAntwerp). Breaches of research integrity include plagiarism, fabrication and falsification of data, and conflicts of interest.

The following tools can help researchers to learn about research integrity and conduct their research in accordance with the principles of research integrity:

Mind The GAP (Good Academic Practices)

Mind The GAP is a new online training tool on research integrity. It is created in a joint effort by the five Flemish Universities and aims at PhD students as well as more senior researchers.

The tool provides a thorough introduction to research integrity and touches on all aspects and stages of your research. From developing a research design, to working out a Research Data Management plan, to how to report on results, deal with conflicts of interest, scientific communication and the evaluation of research(ers). It also addresses several malpractices and how to deal with them and concludes with a chapter on GDPR and on ethics.

For more information on this joint effort you can visit the VLIR webpage (in Dutch).

You can find the tool on Blackboard.

Blackboard SafeAssign: a plagiarism prevention tool

SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. SafeAssign originality reports provide detailed information about the matches found between a student’s submitted paper and existing sources. The report can be used to review assignment submissions for originality and creates opportunities to identify how to properly attribute sources.

The Antwerp Doctoral School developed a manual on SafeAssign for doctoral candidates. The manual describes how (parts of) the doctoral dissertation can be reviewed in SafeAssign. Doctoral candidates are strongly encouraged to use SafeAssign as a tool to learn about plagiarism and source citation. In some faculties, a plagiarism check of the doctoral dissertation is part of the defence procedure (see faculty PhD regulations).

Report a transgression to the Committee for Research Integrity (CWI)

With regard to the procedure for infractions of the research integrity, a Committee for Research Integrity was established in 2010, which assesses in a transparent manner, but at the same with the necessary attention to the private sphere, cases of scientific fraud. The committee offers a set of guidelines (in Dutch) on how to deal with a possible infraction on the research integrity.

Professor Willem Lemmens, member of the tenured academic staff within the Department of Philosophy and the Pieter Gillis Centre,  acts as the contact point for scientific fraud. Researchers of the university, with the necessary regard for their anonymity,  can ask him questions on research integrity or report perceived transgressions. 

Recently, the University of Antwerp has become engaged in the Flemish Committee for Research Integrity which facilitates the dialogue on research integrity on the Flemish level.