Company X suspected that a report written by technology researchers was not impartial. The report had been used as an expert statement in legal proceedings related to a breach of a business secret to which X was party. In addition, X suspected that the list of authors of the report had been expanded and that the report included plagiarism.
After TENK’s first statement (TENK 2019:10), the research institute carried out a preliminary inquiry on the matter. According to X, not all suspects were consulted during the preliminary inquiry. Moreover, the CEO’s decision does not state whether plagiarism took place, or identify who committed it.
According to TENK, the contribution of all persons included on the list of authors had to be examined because all persons mentioned on the list of authors of a publication are jointly responsible for its content, unless the publication states otherwise. The final decision of the RCR process must state whether disregard for the responsible conduct of research or research misconduct has been detected, as well as information about the person or persons who have committed the violation. As a result, an investigation proper in accordance with the RCR guidelines had to be initiated in the case.