The grounds for misappropriation identified in the RCR process were not sufficient (TENK 2021:19)

The university investigated a notification stating that the project application prepared by humanities professor A and his team was guilty of plagiarism of the research plan and misappropriation of the research idea of docent B, who works in the same field. On the basis of the investigation proper, the university’s rector ruled that A was guilty of stealing B’s research idea. TENK received A’s request for a statement in which A stated that the alleged RCR violation had not been proved and the TENK guidelines had not been followed in the RCR investigation.

In its statement, TENK ruled that because misappropriation is an extremely severe RCR violation, the grounds for it must be unquestionable. As such certainty was not attained in the case in question, TENK disagreed with the university’s decision and took the view that A was not guilty of misappropriation. A should, however, have informed B of the contested project application. There had been shortcomings in the RCR process carried out, including in the consultation of the parties.