Suspected falsification of research result turned out to be a difference of opinion (TENK 2018:2)

Docent A had made an allegation to the university’s rector, stating that a doctoral dissertation being examined at the department of medicine included both falsified observations and incorrect data offensive to the patient group subject to the study. The patient organisation in the field also contacted the university in the same matter.

The rector of the university found it to be a case of a difference of opinion caused by a single sentence and that the RCR guidelines were not applicable in the matter. In addition, the doctoral candidate had made a correction to the ambiguous section in question by means of an erratum in their electronic dissertation.

A was dissatisfied with the processing of the matter in the university and with the fact that no preliminary inquiry had been initiated.

TENK converged with the university’s assessment, according to which this was not a matter of research ethics that the RCR guidelines are applicable to. In its statement, however, TENK made a comment to the university that the university had, against the RCR guidelines, initially only discussed the matter at the faculty level and that it had not notified TENK of the decision not to initiate an RCR process.