In order for research to be ethically acceptable and reliable and for its results to be credible, the research must be conducted according to the responsible conduct of research. Applying the guidelines for the responsible conduct of research within the research community constitutes a form of self-regulation, and it is also an integral part of the quality assurance of research organisations.
There are basically two courses of action in determining scientific misconduct, investigating allegations and imposing sanctions: a model based on legislation and a self-regulation model by the scientific community. When an investigation leans on national legislation, serious research misconduct is, in this case, also a crime. It is not so within the self-regulation framework. Instead, the scientific community itself will rectify the situation, following academic practices, and will consequently carry out an investigation and impose sanctions, using mutually agreed rules.
Finland employs a framework which is based on the national guidelines, first published in 1994, on the identification and investigation of responsible conduct of research (RCR) violations. In addition to the internal regulations within the scientific community, its starting point is the openness and transparency of science as well as the mutual trust between researchers and research organisations.