Scientific integrity policy of SILS

Within SILS all employees involved in research and teaching have their own responsibility for the maintenance of scientific integrity. As research institute SILS endorses the principles of the Dutch Code of Conduct Scientific Practice and has taken this as a guideline for its own Code of Conduct. This code commits the scientific practitioner to work in compliance with five principles: scrupulousness, reliability, verifiability, impartiality and independence.


Our main rule is: always address any potential ethical issue as soon as it is encountered. A first step could be to check with colleagues to see if your views or observations are shared or not, but either way, the organisation should know about any potential issue. This can start with talking to your own superiors, and if needed can be escalated to a complaint issued to the University Ethics Committee. The following escalation ladder is suggested:


  1. Contact your superior, discuss the issue and decide on which further action to take.

  2. If the outcome is not satisfactory (for instance the problem is down‐played), or if this is too problematic (for instance because he/she is involved), contact the director of the research department.

  3. If this is not satisfactory, or too problematic, or if you prefer absolute confidentiality, contact one of the university ' 'Vertrouwenspersonen' (Confidential Advisors) to discuss the issue. Although they are not specifically appointed to deal with integrity issues, they can advise you on a course of action. They treat cases confidentially, and action is taken after mutual agreement.

  4. You can submit a formal complaint to the University Ethics Committee, through its chairperson, or alternatively to the Board of the University.


Published by  Swammerdam Institute

19 December 2017