Student A suspected that doctoral candidates B and C in the field of humanities had presented inappropriate learning material when teaching a course. A also considered that the requirement for confidentiality imposed on students regarding course work and discussions during the course was contrary to the Act on the Openness of Government Activities.
In its statements, TENK does not take a stand on the methods or scientific content of teaching taking place at universities. The freedom of research and teaching fall within the scope of the autonomy of universities, and TENK does not have competence to take action in matters related to the content of teaching. As the application of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities or the Copyright Act to university education does not fall within TENK’s scope, TENK did not comment on these matters.
However, researchers must comply with the responsible conduct of research when acting as teachers and instructors. In addition to research activities, these policies apply to teaching materials.
TENK considered that the teaching materials used or produced by B and C did not meet the criteria for an RCR violation. On the other hand, the parties had different views on the scientific nature of the teaching material used. According to the RCR guidelines, genuine scientific differences in interpretation and evaluation are part of the scientific debate and do not violate the responsible conduct of research.