Scientific work

© Fraunhofer ISI

Principles of genuine scientific work

Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI offers scientists challenging tasks with responsibilities and scope for creativity. They work in interdisciplinary teams in the field of tension of technology, industry and society on interesting projects with national and international clients.

Scientific integriety is an indispensible prerequisite for this work. It describes basic ethical standards and the scientists‘responsibility for the honesty and qualiy of their work. This includes the regard for the principles of good scientific practice. For the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as an organisation for applied research these principals are the basis of its self conception. They orient themselves towards the recommendations of the Committee “Self control in Science“ by the member institutions of the German Research Foundation as well as towards the “Recommendations for Scientific Integriety“ of the Research Council

  • As every Fraunhofer institute Fraunhofer ISI has selected an ombuds person for good scientific practice: Professor Rainer Walz is the contact person for accusations of scientific misconduct – by Fraunhofer staff and outsiders.

    For example, scientific misconduct occurs, if intentionally or through gross negligence, false statements are made, objectively not justified external influences cause conclusions to change, intellectual property of others is infringed or research is otherwise interfered with. This does not only include plagarism or data forgery but also methodological imprecision or unlawful authorship.

    Deputy ombuds person is Dr. Karoline Rogge.

  • The wide network of the Fraunhofer Institutes and universities introduces a substantial number of staff to scientific research at Fraunhofer for the first time. Therefore the qualification of young scientists is an integral part of the training at Fraunhofer Institutes.

    Young scientists have to be taught the rules and standards of good scientific work already during their training and subsequently these have to be followed and used during all phases of their scientific work. They should primarily be instructed to conduct themselves with scientific integity during their daily project work. Therefore young colleagues are supported by an experienced scientist.

  • Scientific study groups have to work together in such a way that the results which have been achieved by sharing work can be communicated in mutual trust, regardless of hierachical position, and discussed openly and critically and can be jointly integrated into the latest body of knowledge. The same applies to the mutual verification of results. The primary test of validity of a scientific result is its reproducibility.

  • Authors of scientific publications are always individually responsible for their content. This responsibility includes

    • the scientific reliability of the results,
    • that the results and methods were described completely and comprehensibly
    • that own and external preliminary studies have been completely and correctly verified,

    Authors of an original scientific publication shall be all those – but only those - who have made significant contributions to the conception of the studies or experimnts, the development, analysis and interpretation of data and the formulation of the manuscript itself. A so-called “honary authorship“ is impossible.

  • All data which is needed to reproduce published results or results, which have been developed on behalf of a client, must be recorded and stored. This includes not only data collected directly through experiments, but also the description of the set-up and the conduct of the experiment. Such data must be stored safely in the institute for ten years.