Instructions for implementing the rules to ensure good scientific practice at the Max Born Institute


In 1998, the German Research Foundation (DFG) drew up proposals to ensure good scientific practice. These recommendations were taken up by the Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (WGL) as the basis for the formulation of corresponding rules and their implementation recommended for the WGL institutions. The board of the Forschungsverbund Berlin (FVB) has thereupon adopted a procedure for dealing with allegations of scientific misconduct, which is to apply to all scientifically active employees of the Forschungsverbund Berlin. The institutes of the research network are called on to define preventive regulations for the safeguarding of good scientific practice, which are oriented to the respective specific scientific conditions.

The obligation to comply with the rules of good scientific practice will in future also be a funding criterion of the DFG. The following regulations are therefore based on the "Proposals to ensure good scientific practice" of the "Self-regulation in Science" commission of the DFG and the corresponding recommendations of the WGL.

Compliance with these rules is a contractual obligation at the Max Born Institute. For existing contracts, employees are obliged to do so by written declaration.


1. Good scientific practice

1.1 Definition of good scientific practice

Good scientific practice means working lege artis and always following the latest state of knowledge. It requires knowledge and utilization of the current literature, the application of the latest methods and knowledge.

It is characterized by doubts and self-criticism, by critical analysis of the findings and their control, for example by mutual review within the working groups, but also by honesty with the contributions of colleagues, employees, competitors, predecessors.

Careful quality assurance is an important feature of scientific honesty. It is - in addition to the honesty to others and others as an ethical norm - the basis for scientific professionalism. It is ensured by (critical) cooperation in scientific working groups and clear responsibilities.

this includes

  • regulated, not necessarily hierarchical organizational structures,
  • the delegation of tasks or functional division of responsibility,
  • the awareness of the rights and obligations of the individual,
  • Supervisory and accountability obligations,
  • effective care of young scientists
  • Avoid / detect / resolve conflicts.


1.2 Data documentation

To ensure the quality and thus good scientific practice further includes the documentation of all steps and the safe storage of all records (documentation duty and security), ensuring the reproducibility before publication (criteria of repeatability and traceability) as well as the creation of access for authorized Third.

1.3 Authorship

An essential aspect is the responsibility of (co-) authorship. The authors of scientific publications are jointly responsible for their content; Honorary Authorities are excluded. The author is accountable, identifies with the scientific result and warrants the content of the publication.


2. Rules of Good Scientific Practice in the Max Born Institute

2.1 Organizational structures

Responsible for the direction, supervision, conflict resolution and quality assurance of the scientific work of the Max Born Institute are the directors who can delegate this task in individual cases to department and project managers.

Unless explicitly stated in points 2.2 to 2.6 of these instructions, those responsible shall ensure, by appropriate instructions, that the objectives of each scientist's research and tasks are defined, defined and distributed, and that each employee has his or her responsibilities (rights and obligations) clearly assigned , regular controls on compliance with targets / milestones are carried out and younger scientists / PhD students / diploma students are adequately cared for and advised.

2.2 Data documentation

The primary data used for a publication (research, measurement data) as well as self-explanatory documentation are clearly stored on suitable data media (eg CD-ROM). This also applies in particular to dissertations, diploma theses and, if applicable, habilitations. Responsible for the preparation of the documentation are the department heads.

The department heads hand over the entire documentation, including a reprint of the publication of the library of the Max Born Institute, where the documentation is kept centrally and kept for 10 years. When reconciling the data for the reporting of the KLR the completeness of the documentation is checked. These reports go to the directors.

In the laboratories of the Max-Born-Institut, page-numbered laboratory books are to be permanently kept and kept, which document the laboratory work carried out there. The project managers ensure that the laboratory books are available for review at any time. In the long term, the laboratory books are to be kept by the department heads. (See 1.2)

2.3 Training

In the training and technical support / supervision of young scientists, it must be ensured that the rules of good scientific practice are conveyed and that special attention is paid to their compliance. The directors ensure this within their respective area of ​​responsibility and ensure appropriate documentation.

Responsible for the training are the directors and their habilitated or university-affiliated employees. As a rule, the diploma and doctoral candidates are assigned a direct supervisor from the scientific staff.

2.4 Evaluation criteria

In promotions, attitudes and vocations, originality and quality of the publications have priority over quantity. Not only is the frequency of citation crucial, but the content of the publication is necessary. "Productivity" can only be seen in conjunction with quality indicators.

2.4 Authorship

As authors of an original scientific publication, all but those who have contributed significantly to the design of the studies or experiments, to the preparation, analysis, interpretation of the data or to the formulation of the manuscript itself and have consented to its publication, i. to take responsibility for them.

Collecting data, funding the research, directing the department or project group where the research was conducted, or reading the manuscript are usually not authorship. (See 1.3)

2.5 original publications

Original publications are announcements of new observations or experimental results including conclusions. It follows that multiple publication of the same results is not allowed.

In order to ensure the verifiability of the scientific investigation, the publication must contain a precise description of the methods and results, unless the particular form of publication (abstract, short communication) expressly excludes this.

Findings that support the authors 'hypothesis, such as findings that reject the authors' hypothesis, must be shared equally.

Findings and ideas of other scientists as well as relevant publications of other authors must be adequately quoted.

The fragmentation of studies with the aim of separate publications should be avoided.


3. Ombudsman

In the case of disagreements and disputes about behavior that can be attributed to scientific misconduct, the Ombudsman elected in the Max Born Institute can be approached in the interest of mediation and counseling (see point 1.1 of the Rules of Procedure in case of suspected scientific misconduct of the FVB ).

The Ombudsman is directly available to all scientists for advice and support in matters of good scientific practice and their violation by scientific dishonesty. The Ombudsman sees itself as a consultancy and mediation facility. This also applies in particular to the counseling of persons who want to bring to the attention of investigative bodies or who have brought scientific misconduct and are thus exposed to possible sanctions.

The Ombudsman has no formal rules of procedure but is guided by the principles of confidentiality, procedural fairness and transparency for the parties involved. The procedure is - as far as possible - conducted in consensus with the participants.

The detection of scientific misconduct and the imposition of sanctions is not the task of the Ombudsman. However, if there is reason to suspect scientific misconduct, the Ombudsman may initiate proceedings in accordance with the above-mentioned. Rules of Procedure of the FVB.

Berlin, 25.3.2002