Researcher A welcomed the outcome of an RCR process carried out by a university, in which researcher B was found guilty of research misconduct (plagiarism) after copying A’s research plan in a funding application. However, A was dissatisfied with the manner in which the university had published the final report of the RCR investigation committee and the corrective measures that the university had announced it would take in the matter. After the research plan had been misappropriated, A was no longer able to use it or the ideas presented in it for which funding had been granted.
The case is related to the same issue as TENK’s statement 2019:18.
When research misconduct is detected during the RCR process, the RCR guidelines state that the findings of the final report must be published at least in the publication channel where the fraudulent research findings have already been published. In A’s case, the plagiarised text had been published in a research plan submitted to the funding body, and the research plan was covered by the obligation of professional secrecy. The text had not been published anywhere else.
According to TENK, the university had thus acted in accordance with the RCR guidelines by sending the final investigation report and the rector’s decision to the funder only instead of publishing them more extensively. It was the responsibility of the unit in charge of the RCR investigation to decide on the consequences of a possible RCR violation.