Serious accusation of negligence of ethical principles in human sciences was to be investigated in the RCR process (TENK 2017:3 ja TENK 2017:4)

A, a private person suspected that B, a lecturer at the university of applied sciences X, and C, a person belonging to the management of the university of applied sciences Y, would as editors of a symposium in social sciences be guilty of disregard for both responsible conduct of research and ethical research principles in the field of human sciences. According to A, in an article of a publication series representing the research and development activities of X, also published online, delicate information related to the personal history of A is told in such a way that it is easy to work out the true identity of A. A submitted an allegation of RCR misconduct to both the rectors of X and Y.

The rector of X notified A that the allegation was unfounded because the persons presented in the publication had been anonymised and so were not identifiable by any conventional means.

Therefore, a decision on the RCR process was not made on the matter. Y took the view of the rector and the ethical committee of X in the matter. In their joint response to TENK, X and Y announced that the matter did not fall within the scope of RCR guidelines, because B is a teacher with a contractual employment relationship who does not participate in the research of X. As a further reasoning for their view, X and Y announced that X is not a research organisation referred to in the RCR guidelines and that the said publication is not a scientific one.

In its statement TENK refuted all of the reasoning presented above. Researchers B and C and the university of applied sciences X were responsible for the content of the publication. According to TENK, both X and Y were to initiate an investigation proper into the matter in accordance with the RCR process, either jointly or separately, because the allegation was serious, and A had solid grounds for the validity of the allegation. In the statement TENK also stated that the ethical committee of an organisation or a joint one of several universities of applied sciences is not a body that belongs to the RCR process.