Bielefeld University sees the safeguarding of good scientific practice as a central task of all of its members and affiliates in teaching and research.
To safeguard good scientific practice Bielefeld University agreed in 2000 on the "Grundsätze zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis an der Universität Bielefeld" [Principles to safeguard good scientific practice at Bielefeld University]. These are based on the respective guidelines of the German Research Foundation DFG and the German Rektor’s Conference HRK (in German).
Scientific good practice is violated when false statements are made in relation to science either intentionally or through gross negligence and if the intellectual property of others is infringed or their research impaired. False statements can be the distortion and fabrication of data, or untrue information supplied for a funding or job application. An infringement of intellectual property occurs due to unauthorised usage under the assumption of authorship or coauthorship (plagiarism), theft of ideas, publishing or making available unpublished texts, hypothese or research papers to third parties. A more detailed list can be found in the already mentioned: "Grundsätzen zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis an der Universität Bielefeld" [Principles to safeguard good scientific practice at Bielefeld University].
As Bielefeld University is firmly committed to the principles of good scientific practice in research, teaching and the promotion of young academics, it has adopted various organisational and content related measures in these areas as well as precautions to safeguard them.
Bielefeld University aims to become a site of excellent and renowned national and international research. All scientists therefore should understand and adhere to the principles of good scientific practice in their research. On the career path to becoming independent researchers, young academics should receive support from their supervisors to be sensitised and adhere to good scientific practice. Bielefeld University sees the safeguarding of scientific standards of quality in research, especially certainty and truthfulness, as a task of utmost importance.
If questions arise concerning good scientific practice or if there is suspicion of scientific misconduct the first point of call for members, affiliates and, in particular, the researchers is an ombudsperson, who will handle all information confidentially. Accusations of suspected scientific misconduct will be examined by the ombudsperson for plausibility on aspects of certainty and implication. The ombudsperson also advises researchers who have become unwittingly involved in scientific misconduct, with regards to safeguarding their personal and scientific integrity.
If the suspicion of scientific misconduct becomes more concrete, then the ombudsperson will pass on the allegations to an Investigative Commission . This commission looks into cases of scientific misconduct that have been submitted and resolves them. It examines whether there is evidence of misconduct or not.
Ombudsperson in an advisory and supporting role when scientific misconduct is suspected:
Prof. em. Dr. Ansgar Beckermann: firstname.lastname@example.org
For general questions on good scientific practice:
Vice-Rector for Research, Young Researchers and Equal Opportunities:
Prof. Dr. Martin Egelhaaf: email@example.com
From the start of their studies, students should also be familiarised with the principles of good scientific practice, so that they can observe them in early on in seminar papers and, at the latest, in their theses. During their studies, students are taught the principles of scientific work and good scientific practice. This is to place preventative measures at the fore in order to prevent scientific misconduct.
Faculties and graduate schools as well as the central Department of Teaching, Learning, and Student Counselling Service [Zentrum für Lehren und Lernen | ZLL] and the University Library offer courses on different aspects of good scientific practice.
In order to safeguard good scientific practice in teaching, the Rektorat and Senate have agreed on the paper: "Gute wissenschaftliche Praxis bei schriftlichen Arbeiten von Studierenden an der Universität Bielefeld" [Good Scientific Practice in Written Work by Students at Bielefeld University].
In the first instance, the responsibility of evaluating whether the author of a seminar paper or a BA or MA thesis has violated good scientific practice lies with the teaching staff who assess the work, or with the respective examiner and examination board. Violation of established scientific regulations will be dealt with according to the corresponding examination rules.
In the text "Plagiate - Voraussetzungen und Sanktionen" [Plagiarism – Conditions and Sanctions] typical conditions and manifestations of plagiarism are explained, as well as possible sanctions in such cases.
To evaluate dissertations, the software turnitin is available to teaching staff at Bielefeld University.
- Recommendations for using Turnitin 2012 (PDF) [in German]
- Application for access to Turnitin (Word) [in German]
In the case of questions specific to faculty within the framework of teaching and study, please contact the dean of studies of the particular faculty
For general questions and concerns general to all faculties within the framework of teaching and study please contact: Vice Rector for Study and Research:
Prof.in Dr. Claudia Riemer: firstname.lastname@example.org
To safeguard consistent standards of quality in doctoral procedures, Bielefeld University agreed on the General Regulation of Doctoral Studies (RPO) on 15.06.2010, which are supplemented and specified with the regulations of doctoral studies of each of the faculties.
To safeguard consistent standards of quality in doctoral procedures, Bielefeld University agreed on the General Regulation of Doctoral Studies (RPO) on 15.06.2010, which are supplemented and specified with the regulations of doctoral studies of each of the faculties. The RPO is intended to facilitate high standards and transparency independently from the form of doctorate (structured or free doctoral programme) by establishing standards across faculties. These measures include, in particular, the admission of the doctoral student to a faculty at an early stage and a binding supervision agreement. Supervisors should offer comprehensive advice and support to young researchers at Bielefeld University so they can adhere to good scientific practice. To this end, in 2010 the "Leitlinien für die Betreuung von Promotionen" [Guidelines on the supervision of doctoral studies] was agreed upon. Doctoral students who encounter problems in regard to supervision can go to a confidential representative.
Violations of recognised scientific regulations will be dealt with according to the stipulation in the particular doctoral regulation. Teaching staff at Bielefeld University can use the software turitin to assist with the validation of dissertations.
- Recommandations for using Turnitin 2012 (PDF) [in German]
- Application for access to Turnitin (Word) [in German]
In the case of questions specific to faculty within the framework of doctoral procedures: PHD board for particular faculty
In critical or confidencial problems between supervisor and doctoral student: Representative for supervision of doctoral studies:
Prof'in. Dr. Barbara Hammer, email@example.com;
Prof. Dr. Franz-Josef Arlinghaus, firstname.lastname@example.org
For general questions relevant to all faculties on doctoral studies:
Vice Rector for Research, Young Researchers and Equal Opportunities:
Prof. Dr. Martin Egelhaaf, email@example.com