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Denmark floats changes to misconduct investigations

Image: Chris Potter [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Universities and research institutions should take the lead in investigations of questionable research practices, with the national committee for scientific misconduct only investigating serious allegations, an expert group has said.

The findings, published on 14 December, state that institutions should be obliged to set up a system to deal with minor misconduct allegations, including plagiarism, that is separate from university management. The institution themselves should then investigate cases, reporting their findings to the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty through a yearly report, the UVVU, it states.

The UVVU should be charged with more serious cases including fabrication of data and counterfeiting, the report states. Whilst the majority of such cases will be referred by the institution, the UVVU should also be able to launch investigations under its own initiative in exceptional circumstances, if it "believes there is legitimate suspicion of scientific misconduct," the report states.

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