A case of suspected fraud was investigated in a certain Finnish research organisation, in which the focus was on the work of a research post holder who was a foreign national. The researcher had also belonged to an international research group. In its statement concerning the matter, the Advisory Board gave an opinion as to whether the procedures used by the research organisation in question in its investigation into the violation of good scientific practice were faultless, and whether the researcher was guilty of violation of good scientific practice.
In its statement, with regard to the procedures used by the research institute, the Advisory Board pointed out: The Finnish language was mainly used in the investigation, although this was not the mother tongue of the researcher in question. Furthermore, the incapacity of the chair of the investigating group had to be evaluated. Although the investigation had been undertaken incautiously, the Advisory Board did not however recommend that the investigation should be reopened.
In the research organisation’s own preliminary study and investigation the researcher under suspicion had been found guilty of four different instances violation of good scientific practice: two cases of disregard for good scientific practice, as well as falsification and fabrication. One of the instances of disregard for good scientific practice related to the accuracy of information submitted to a digital publication database. In this case the Advisory Board did not find carelessness to such an extent in the researcher’s work that the case could be classified as disregard for good scientific practice. In the other case classified as disregard for good scientific practice the Advisory Board found that it related to the scientific quality of the research work; the Advisory Board does not examine such cases.
However, the Advisory Board did find violation of good scientific practice proven in the two other cases. One of these concerned fabrication: an abstract that the researcher had submitted to a congress referred to research results that were not even in existence at the time the reference was made. In the case of the research organisation’s work classified as falsification, which was connected with negligence in the research methods, the Advisory Board found that disregard for good scientific practice had occurred when the research was undertaken.