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Good research practice: further details and guidelines

In which situations could you be confronted with the theme Good research practice? Where can you find further details and guidelines?

Further explanation of principles for scientific integrity

Good research practices are essential for the quality of and trust in scientific research. Scientific research derives its status from the fact that it is a normatively regulated process. This normativity is partly methodological and partly ethical in nature and can be translated into a number of principles in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Research Integrity:

  • You refrain from making unfounded claims.
  • You report the research process accurately.
  • You refrain from fabricating or falsifying data or sources.
  • You take alternative views and counterarguments seriously.
  • You are open and honest about margins of uncertainty.
  • You refrain from presenting results more favorably or less favorably than they actually are.
  • You use scientific methods
  • You exercise the best possible care in designing, undertaking, reporting, and disseminating research
  • You make it clear to others what data you have based yourself on, how you have obtained this data, what results you have achieved (by what means), and what role external stakeholder(s) played in this.
  • You provide a good account of why parts of the research or the data are not made public, if that is the case.
  • Your line of reasoning must be evident and the steps in the research process must be verifiable, so that the manner in which the research process was conducted and phased can be understood by colleagues.
  • When choosing the method, assessing the data, and attrributing weight to alternative explanations, but also when assessing the research or research proposals of others, you are not guided by non-scientific considerations (e.g. of a commercial or political nature). Independence therefore includes impartiality.
  • Independence is in any case required in the design, conduct, and reporting of the research. Independence is not always necessary in the selection of the research subject and the research question
  • You acknowledge that as a researcher you do not operate in isolation. That is why, within reasonable limits, you take into consideration the legitimate interests of persons and animals involved in the research, of any commissioning parties and funding bodies, and of the environment.
  • Responsibility also means conducting research that is scientifically and/or socially relevant.

Training Research Integrity

All researchers are strongly recommended to take the online training research integrity which provides insights into responsible and questionable research practices, applicable regulations and information on relevant Tilburg University policies. The face-to-face training will give PhD researchers the opportunity to discuss with fellow PhD researchers the norms of good science and the virtues of a good scientist, as well as how to navigate grey areas of research and integrity dilemmas.

For PhD researchers who started their program as of 2020-2021 the online training is a mandatory part of the Training and Supervision Plan, the face-to-face training is strongly recommended. For PhD researchers who started their program as of 2021-2022 both the online training and the face-to-face training are mandatory. PhD researchers are strongly recommended to complete the e-learning module by the end of their first year and the face-to-face training by the end of their second year. For more information contact Integrity Training.

Transparent consideration of ethical dilemmas

In research, you will face ethical dilemmas. Always be open about this! And, make a careful consideration that is justifiable. If you have an ethical dilemma regarding your research, consult with your supervisor

or colleagues. Research proposals are reviewed on ethical aspects within the Schools by the Ethics Review Boards. For each School, it is included in the School Regulations when you have to have an ethical review carried out.

No animal testing takes place at Tilburg University.

Careful management of research data

The guiding principle in keeping research data and making it accessible is verifiability and, possibly, reuse/replication. The Research Data Management Regulations reflect Tilburg University’s vision on the careful processing, management, and sustainable availability of research data. Some Schools have additional regulations.

We also refer to the ground rules in Theme 4: Processing information.

Open Access

Tilburg University explicitly wants to promote publishing in Open Access as part of its social task and because of the higher level of public awareness of the results of Tilburg University’s scientific research that Open Access provides. In addition, Tilburg University attaches great importance to building up a scientific archive of the institution.

According to Tilburg University, this means Open Access policy.

  • You follow the green route to Open Access. After formal acceptance, you place a digital version of your publication in Pure. Where possible and to the extent permitted by copyright, this will be made public.
  • Where possible, you choose to publish in an Open Access journal, preferably in a journal of a publisher with whom Tilburg University has concluded an Open Access agreement within the framework of the big deal agreements.
  • If there is no Open Access agreement with a publisher (yet), true Open Access is preferable to hybrid Open Access.

Read more about:

Protection of personal data

Are personal data processed during a research? In that case, additional requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation.

Confidential advisor on academic integrity

Discuss suspicions of malpractice and infringement of scientific integrity with the independent Confidential Advisor on academic integrity.