New procedure for handling alleged research misconduct
Alleged research misconduct should not be investigated by research organisations themselves, but rather by the new independent Research Misconduct Board. This is the Government’s proposal referred for consideration to the Council on Legislation.
"No one should ever need to doubt Swedish research, and no patient should ever risk being subjected to treatments that are the result of research fraud. The system we now propose involves creating greater clarity and legal certainty," says Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson.
The background to the proposal is the need for uniform rules to handle alleged research misconduct. It has also proven problematic for higher education institutions to investigate themselves while also protecting their own reputation. Even if such an investigation is conducted impeccably, the clash of interests may result in reduced confidence in both the investigation and the higher education institution.
This is why the Government is now proposing that a new national agency, the Research Misconduct Board, investigate when research misconduct – in the form of fabrication, falsification or plagiarism – is suspected. Investigations will be conducted in accordance with a clear regulatory framework.
Under the new act, researchers will be required to follow good scientific practice and the research organisation will be required to oversee this. The system will include public higher education institutions, central government agencies, municipalities, county councils and private education providers.
The new act is based on the inquiry 'New procedures for promoting good practice and handling research misconduct' (SOU 2017:10). It is proposed that the act enter into force on 1 September 2019.