Negligent reporting and storage of interview material was considered to be disregard of responsible conduct of research (TENK 2017:8)

A university lecturer presented the university an allegation of an RCR violation concerning a postgraduate student in agriculture and forestry who, at the time of the occurrence, was working for the research project led by the lecturer. According to the university lecturer, the postgraduate student had added results from fabricated interviews to the manuscript jointly authored by them.

In the RCR process conducted it remained unclear what kind of interviews had been made and how the material collected on the basis of the interview had been stored. According to the investigation group, the case involved disregard for responsible conduct of research. In the decision made by the university they stated, however, that this disregard could not clearly be limited to the postgraduate student alone and so concluded in its decision that no RCR violation had occurred. The university lecturer was dissatisfied with the decision and asked TENK to issue a statement on the matter.

According to TENK, in the course of handling the case it became quite apparent that the interviews used as the material of the article had not been reported or stored in the manner required by scientific data. The postgraduate student was given the opportunity to explain the shortcomings in the storing and reporting of the interview material but failed to do so in the actual RCR investigation or in TENK’s statement process. Negligent storing of results is problematic from the point of view of the scientific community in the sense that without the material the scientific community has no chance to verify the research results obtained through the interviews. Therefore, TENK concluded that the postgraduate student had been guilty of disregard for responsible conduct of research. This disregard manifested itself especially as inadequate recording and storage of research material.