There was no need to investigate an allegation regarding a Master’s thesis dating back over 20 years (TENK 2020:12)

A suspected that B’s Master’s thesis in the field of humanities, approved in 1997, included falsification, fabrication and plagiarism. The rector of university X did not initiate an RCR process, as the notification of the allegation concerned a thesis that had been completed and approved approximately 23 years ago.

According to TENK’s RCR guidelines, an organisation may decide against initiating an RCR process if such a long time has passed since the alleged violation that the investigation would have no impact on ethically sustainable research practices, ensuring the quality of research, or the legal protection of other people.

In TENK’s opinion, the rector of X exercised their discretion provided by the RCR guidelines regarding how long after and for what justified reasons a decision can be made not to initiate a preliminary inquiry on a Master’s thesis.