Scientific integrity

The SNSF sees research integrity as the commitment of each scientist to sound scientific practices, a view shared by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. In its Regulations on the treatment of scientific misconduct, it defines acts of misconduct, procedures and sanctions.

For the SNSF, sound research practices serve as an important guideline for all persons involved in its activities, be it as members of the National Research Council, as applicants (and/or project staff) or as reviewers. Confidence in the fact that research work is carried out conscientiously is a sine qua non for research funding. The SNSF therefore urges all parties with whom it works together to maintain a self-critical attitude where adherence to sound scientific practices is concerned.

Regulations define acts of misconduct and sanctions

The Research Council of the SNSF has defined acts of scientific misconduct in a regulatory document, referring in this context to a publication of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences which is of prime importance for Swiss research.

Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences: Integrity in scientific research: principles and procedures (PDF, 1.1 MB)These Regulations define the organisation and competencies of the Commission on Research Integrity appointed by the National Research Council.

The SNSF regulations specify the procedures to be applied in cases of suspected misconduct along with possible penalties (e.g. letter of warning or exclusion from the application process for a limited period) and the procedural rights of the parties concerned.

Regulations on scientific misconduct (Research Integrity Regulations, RI Regulations) of 12 July 2016 (PDF, 245 KB)

Rules on good scientific practices in SNF proposals

Research plan: The research plan must consist of original text that has been written by the applicants themselves. A limited amount of text (or other material, graphs, etc.) by third parties or text published by the applicants themselves is permissible in the sections concerning the state of research (2.1) and the state of their own research (2.2) as well as when describing standard methods. The quoted texts must be clearly designated as such (quotation marks or appropriate wording) and a verifiable source must be mentioned nearby and in the bibliography. The SNSF uses a special software to compare texts and analyse suspected cases of plagiarism. A number of universities have made such programs available to their students and employees. The responsible institution can be contacted for further information.

Bibliography: Thesources of all concluded and/or ongoing work referred to in the research plan are to be listed. The full reference, especially the title, source and full author list is to be indicated. Do not use "et al." to shorten the author list. (Exception: the author list can be shortened if a publication involves large international consortia with over 50 authors. In this case, a link to the complete reference has to be included).

Research output list (only personal contributions): Depending on the research field, the applicant’s position in the list of authors may give an indication on his/her contribution to the scientific work (see also: Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences – Integrity in scientific research – Principles and procedures). The number of publications of an applicant as responsible author without the contribution of his/her PhD or postdoc supervisor is used, among others, as a measure of his/her scientific independence. The total number of publications or the number of publications per year is not considered to be the only indicator of performance.

Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences: Integrity in scientific research - Principles and procedures

Articles and items relevant to the research project must be clearly highlighted. The applicant’s name in the list of authors and the publication year must be clearly visible (e.g. boldfaced or underlined). Do not use "et al." to shorten the list of authors, unless the research project was conducted by a large international collaboration with more than 50 authors and a direct link to the full publication is given.

Scientific misconduct in submitted applications

The SNSF imposes penalties for plagiarism and other scientific misconduct identified in submitted applications. It regularly publishes reports on the number of such cases.

Contact

Research Integrity
E-mail gs@snf.ch