Researcher A suspected that researchers B, C and D were guilty of disregard for responsible conduct of research when they did not mention A in the list of editors for a handbook drawn up on the basis of a project report from the field of educational science. A had participated in the planning of the handbook but had left the project before the publication of the handbook. The university issued its first decision on the matter in March 2017. According to this decision, the case did not relate to RCR and thus a preliminary inquiry was not initiated.
At the request of A, TENK issued a first statement on this decision (TENK 2018:3), according to which the university had to initiate a preliminary inquiry in accordance with the RCR process.
This preliminary inquiry concluded that there had been no RCR violation. A was dissatisfied with this decision and requested a second statement from TENK (TENK 2019:19). In its statement, TENK ruled that the university must initiate an investigation proper in line with RCR guidelines.
TENK also considered it reprehensible that it had taken the university so long to deal with the suspected RCR violation.
On the basis of the investigation proper, the rector made two decisions in the matter. The first decision stated that there had been a RCR violation. According to this decision, A should have been mentioned as a person involved in compiling the project report. However, the decision did not specify who had committed the RCR violation. The second decision stated that A had to be marked as one of the compilers of the handbook. In addition, a note referring to the aforementioned rector’s decision had to be added to the publication.
A requested a statement from TENK on whether the university has acted incorrectly in the RCR process by failing to name the party or parties responsible for the RCR violation in its decision. In addition, A asked TENK to confirm A’s view that they should also be added as an author of the translated versions of the handbook. TENK took the view that the RCR process decision must identify any disregard for responsible conduct of research or misconduct that took place. In addition to this, the decision must state who has committed the violation in order for the possible consequences of the violation to be directed at the right parties. TENK also stated that A’s name should be entered also in all translated versions of the work as one of the compilers of the publication. The publications also had to have a note added to them that refers to the rector’s decision on the matter.