Scientific integrity

Expert Group on Scientific Integrity

Under the chairmanship of Prof. Edwin Charles Constable, a new group of experts in the field of Scientific Integrity was elected. The main task of the expert group is to renew the principles and procedures in the field of Scientific Integrity as well as the related regulations from 2008, taking into account the ALLEA Code of Conduct, in order to create common "State of the Art" standards in Switzerland. The expert group currently consists of four members, representing the participating institutions Swiss Academies, Swissuniversities and SNF.

These are:
The expert group is also supported by the following persons:
  • Karin Spycher, Head (Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences)
  • Noëmie Eglin (swissuniversities)
  • Claudia Lautenschütz (SNSF)
  • Joël Brigger (Innosuisse)
Karin Spycher
E-Mail: karin.notexisting@nodomain.comspycher@akademien-schweiz.notexisting@nodomain.comch
Phone: 031 306 92 35

Principles and rules of procedure

Brochure Integrity in scientific research (pdf)

Powerpoint Presentation «Scientific Integrity»

Article «Scientific integrity, misconduct in science», by Emilio Bossi, Swiss Medical Weekly, 2010 (pdf)

Code of Conduct 2017

The European Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity provides the European research community with a framework for self-regulation across all scientific disciplines and research areas.

The revised 2017 edition of the Code addresses, inter alia, new challenges arising from technological developments, open science, citizenship and social media. The European Commission recognises the Code as a reference document for research integrity for all EU-funded research projects and as a model for organisations and researchers across Europe.

The Code was originally published in English on 24 March 2017 and translated into all official EU languages by the translation services of the European Commission and with the support of ALLEA member academies.

Code of conduct in different languages (ALLEA 2017)

Authorship in scientific publications

Scientific publications not only serve the communication of science – the number of publications or citations is essentially determining career opportunities of scientists. Accordingly, clear guidelines are needed that may help deciding who will be on the author list and in what order. The Committee Scientific Integrity  of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences summarised the current regulations and formulated recommendations for authorship in scientific publications. These should help to prevent authorship disputes and offer guidance in the event of conflicts.

Brochure «Authorship in scientific publications: analysis and recommendations» (pdf)

National exchange of information and experience «Scientific Integrity», 30 May 2013
Presentation by Dr Elizabeth Wager: Ethics of authorship (pdf)
Presentation by Prof. Christian W. Hess: Authorship in scientific publications (pdf)

Compilation of Codes of conduct

During 2010-16, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences supported the «Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science» of the  International Council for Science (ICSU). Among its tasks is the promotion of responsibility in the conduct of science. For this purpose, the Committee makes available the globally available Codes of conduct online.

Network event «Scientific Integrity»

Can we assume that young scientists in Switzerland are aware of regulations regarding good scientific practice? Are students, doctoral candidates and PostDocs being equipped with the key elements of scientific integrity? Or, rather, would trainings and further education to the professorate, heads of research groups, ombudsmen and the supervisors of scientific works be necessary? And if so, how can such events be framed successfully?

The topic of training and further education was the focus of the second national network event on 10 December 2014 for professionals in the area of scientific integirty.

Programme (pdf)

Prof. Christian W. Hess, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences: Introduction (pdf; German,  English, French)

lic. theol., Dipl.-Biol. Sibylle Ackermann, SAMS: Teaching and further education in the area of «Scientific Integrity» (pdf; German)

Dr Erika Löfström, University of Helsinki: Teach the teachers in scientific integrity: approaches, trends and central issues (pdf; English)

Collaboration between the medical profession and industry

Guidelines: Collaboration between the medical profession and industry


Private sponsoring of chairs

Workshop 2012
With a workshop in October 2012, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences contributed to a more profound discussion on whether or not increasing private funding affected the independence in university research. The focus was the reputation of research and scientific expertise in society, which can currently still be estimated to be high because they are in principle perceived to be independent of interests, solution-oriented and committed to the benefit of society. This situation is potentially challenged by private funding in university research. There is therefore much at risk for the reputation of research and researchers in Switzerland.

More than 30 representatives of higher education administions, cantonal directors of education, researchers and donors participated at the workshop in Bern. The presentations were followed by a lively discussion. The majority of the participants were in favour of guidelines being developed by the Academies in order to safeguard the interests of donors and recipients.

Presentations (pdf; German)
Workshop report of the Academies (pdf; German)
Media reports: Le Temps, NZZ, Radio DRS2
Article by Thomas Cueni (Interpharma), Basler Zeitung (pdf)

European Statement of Principles based on Swiss initiative
Based on this workshop and at the initiative of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, the Working Group Science and Ethics of the All European Academies (ALLEA) developed, with the active contribution of the Swiss Academies, a statement of principles that was adopted in December 2014.
Download the ALLEA Statement of Principles

Ethics in the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences: inventory and perspectives

In part, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences have been involved in ethical questions for many years. In 2011, a report presented this engagement in ethics, discussing its strengths and weaknesses. It also outlines focus areas, which the Academies will work on in future based on the research law in the area of ethics

Report (pdf; German, French)

Open Access

Open access means the immediate, permanent, free, complimentary and electronic access to scientific publications. Disproportional price increases by the publishing houses, the long delay between submission and publication of an article, the enforced transfer of author rights to the publishing houses and the limitation regarding the dissemination of research results are the main drivers for the interest in open access.

More information

Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
House of Academies
Laupenstrasse 7
P.O. Box
3001 Bern

Phone +41 (0)31 306 92 20