Statutes for ensuring good scientific Practice at Trier University of Applied Sciences from 06.07.2022

Please note: This text is a reading version. The binding document is the version published in German in the "publicus" of Trier University of Applied Sciences.

Based on § 7 paragraph 1 of the Higher Education Act (HochSchG) in the version of 23.09.2020 (GVBl. 2020, No. 36), the Senate of Trier University of Applied Sciences in its meeting of 06.07.2022 adopted the following statutes to ensure good scientific practice at Trier University of Applied Sciences:



Science has a special ethical responsibility through its claim to autonomy, in the sense of freedom of persons and institutions in science. As a self-regulating system operating according to its own rules, it must communicate its ethos to each new generation by creating accountability structures and frameworks that strengthen a reliable culture of scientific integrity. The prosperity, development, and growth of modern societies depend on the quality and progress of scientific knowledge and integrity in the research process. Scientific integrity, understood as a comprehensive ethical awareness in the sense of a culture of probity and responsibility for quality in science, includes the teaching and application of standards in studies and relates to the entire research process in all phases of scientific training and careers. This attitude must be practiced and lived at universities and non-university research institutions. It is not limited to independent research in qualification papers or correct data statements but includes transparency of the entire research and publication practice¹.

The following rules for good scientific practice as a basic requirement for an efficient scientific practice recognized in international competition are intended to help promote the quality of scientific work in the performance of research tasks at Trier University of Applied Sciences.

The honesty of scientists, their professional ethics of maintaining scientific quality, and their corresponding responsible, exemplary actions cannot be replaced by any set of rules. However, frameworks can prevent scientific misconduct and prevent its continuation. Affected are scientific works in connection with doctorates, works for scientific projects, and works for which publications are planned. Student work directly related to the aforementioned scientific work is included.

The management of Trier University of Applied Sciences and its associated non-university research institutions create the framework conditions and organizational structures for good scientific work, which include qualified scientific personnel, the promotion of young scientists, and equal opportunities. It is responsible for the observance and communication of good scientific practice. The management of the university and scientific institutions guarantees the conditions for scientists to comply with legal and ethical standards.

0. The personnel basis of good science

The quality of science is based on empowered people who are recruited from a comprehensive spectrum and whose skills are further developed. The university has written policies and transparent procedures for the selection and development of scientific staff that take into account gender equality and diversity, and in which ignorant influences ("unconscious bias") are minimized. There are support structures for junior scientists. The university provides sincere advice on career paths in science and offers continuing education and mentoring to scientific and science-accessory personnel.

1. Basic Requirements

1. Basic Requirements

1.1 The following requirements must be met for good scientific practice:

(1) Scientific work must be conducted following the latest state of research. To answer research questions, scientists apply sound and comprehensible methods. When applying and developing methods, they attach particular importance to quality assurance and the establishment of standards. This means that knowledge and utilization of the current state of research are mandatory. For this purpose, Trier University of Applied Sciences or its associated non-university research institutions create suitable framework conditions. Essential components of continuous, research-accompanying quality assurance are for example:

  • the replicability/confirmation of results or findings by other scientists (for example, through a detailed description of materials and methods),
  • Adherence to discipline-specific standards and established practices (including processes such as calibrating equipment; collecting, processing, and analyzing research data; selecting and using research software, developing and programming it; and maintaining laboratory notebooks),
  • indicating the origin of data, organisms, materials, and software used in the research process,
  • the citation of sources,
  • the critical questioning of own research data as well as
  • the selection of an appropriate publication medium.

(2) Scientists shall document all information relevant to the achievement of a research result as comprehensibly as is necessary and appropriate in the field concerned to be able to review and evaluate the result. If the documentation of research results does not meet the corresponding (professional) requirements, the limitations and reasons for this are explained in a comprehensible manner. Documentation and research results must not be manipulated; they must be protected against manipulation as best as possible. Research data to be secured and retained include primary data, results of experiments, measurement results, collections, study surveys, cell cultures, material samples, findings, questionnaires, and the like. Research results.

(3) The research data shall be documented and retained for an appropriate time - depending on the respective subject area - usually ten years. In justified cases, shorter retention periods may be appropriate; the corresponding reasons shall be described in a comprehensible manner. The retention period begins with the date on which public access was established. Traceability and repeatability of investigations are essential here. The university management ensures the existence of the necessary infrastructure that enables archiving. Each working unit (departments, university facilities, institutes, working groups/groups, research projects, etc.) establishes clear rules on the records to be kept and on the place of storage and access to the original data and data carriers. The latter also includes the regulation of third-party access to research data. They should also include provisions in the event of a change of the member of the respective work unit responsible for the creation of the data. As a rule, the original data and documents remain at the place of origin; the possibility of making duplicates or access rights may be determined.

(4) Facts and scientific arguments that cast doubt on one's working hypothesis must not be suppressed. The willingness to consistently doubt one's own results must remain self-evident. Individual results that do not support the research hypothesis must also be considered; a selection of data must be avoided.

(5) Scientific results should always be published (for more details, see section 3.6). Here, the reproduction of the findings must be distinguished from their interpretation. The scientific observation, the scientific experiment, the determination of the findings and their interpretation as well as the publication are part of the scientific process or the product of the work of scientists, for which they have the (joint) responsibility.

(6) Scientists shall handle the constitutionally granted freedom of research responsibly. They take into account rights and obligations, in particular, those resulting from legal requirements but also contracts with third parties, and, where necessary, obtain and submit approvals and ethical votes. Concerning research projects, a thorough assessment of the research consequences and evaluation of the respective ethical aspects should be carried out. The legal framework of a research project also includes documented agreements on the rights of the use of research data and research results arising from it. Thus, the actual use of data is (at least also) entitled to those who collected the data.

1.2 Young academics at Trier University of Applied Sciences are entitled to regular academic advice and support from the supervising academics, who in turn are committed to responsible work and collegiality. Experienced scientists and junior scientists support each other in the continuous learning and further education process and engage in regular exchange. Doctoral students should have more than one experienced scientist to provide advice and assistance, even in the case of non-cooperative doctorates. All junior scientists are committed to the following tasks:

  • Pursuit the state-of-the-art relevant to one's research work (e.g. literature research)
  • Develop an appropriate research design that specifically uses methods to avoid bias as well as reflects on the importance of gender and/or diversity dimensions to the research project,
  • Logging, completing documentation, and retention of their research results,
  • responsible work and collegiality,
  • Regular reporting on the progress of their research,
  • Participation in seminars and professional conferences, as appropriate,
  • Assist with routine tasks within the work unit.

1.3 Principles of scientific work and good scientific practice are taught to students at Trier University of Applied Sciences, also about these statutes, already in the early phase of their studies. Here, a basic attitude of honesty and responsibility in science is to be acquired. At the same time, students are made aware of the possibility of scientific misconduct. The study requirements should be designed in such a way as to ensure practice in good scientific practice. Scientists at all career levels shall regularly update their knowledge of the standards of good scientific practice and the state of research.

1.4 All persons involved in the preparation of scientific work shall be informed and instructed by the management of the responsible work unit about the principles of scientific work and good scientific practice at the beginning of their activities.

1.5 Newly admitted scientists are obliged to comply with these statutes in the same way as those already working at Trier University of Applied Sciences.

1.6 These general objectives and responsibilities do not claim to be exhaustive. Discipline-related recognized principles of scientific work must also be observed.

2. Design of Work Units

2.1 If several persons are responsible for the processing of research tasks, the interpretation of their results, and the report to the scientific public (working unit), paras. 2 to 4 shall apply.

2.2 The work unit is to be clearly defined and transparently structured in its tasks. Certain group sizes should not be exceeded so that the management of this group can perform the tasks according to section 2.3.

2.3 The head of the work unit bears the overall responsibility for the entire unit. The work unit is to be headed by a full-time scientific or artistic person from Trier University of Applied Sciences (according to § 46 HochSchG).

The management has the task:

  • define the research priorities of the work unit,
  • define and coordinate the work processes and their monitoring,
  • to prepare the work programs for academic staff and students,
  • to provide guidance on scientific work,
  • to hold regular quality assurance meetings with reports from the academic staff and students,
  • to ensure collegial and trusting cooperation and internal conflict resolution with female employees, male employees, and superiors,
  • resolve conflicts within the work unit regarding the rules to be followed,
  • within the overall concept of the institution, to provide appropriate individual support to junior scientists,
  • prevent abuse of power and the exploitation of dependency relationships through appropriate organizational measures,
  • to ensure the required scientific standard (including methodology and further training of the staff),
  • promote the members of the work unit as well as their careers,
  • to enable appropriate participation of scientific and scientific-academic staff and to develop their responsibility and independence,
  • represent the work unit to the outside world.

The dissemination of methods and results is allowed to the members of the work unit only with the explicit permission of the person in charge.

In large units (e.g. institutes), the head of the unit may delegate management tasks to the heads of the respective work units, while maintaining overall responsibility. The overall management remains responsible for the results and publications of individual studies of the various work units only within the scope of any co-authorship.

2.4 The roles and responsibilities of the scientists involved in a research project as well as of the science-accessory personnel must be clear at all times during a research project. An adjustment of roles and responsibilities takes place if this becomes necessary due to changed conditions.

2.5 Scientists take full account of and acknowledge the current state of research when planning a project. The identification of relevant and suitable research questions requires careful research into research achievements that have already been made publicly available. The universities and non-university research institutions ensure the necessary framework conditions for this.

2.6 In principle, scientists contribute all results to the scientific discourse. In individual cases, however, there may be reasons not to make results publicly available (in the narrower sense in the form of publications, but also the broader sense via other communication channels); this decision must not depend on third parties. Scientists decide on their own responsibility - taking into account the customs of the relevant field - whether, how, and where to make their results publicly available. Once a decision to make results publicly available has been made, scientists describe it fully and comprehensibly. This includes, as far as possible and reasonable, making available the research data, materials, and information on which the results are based, the methods applied and the software used and giving a comprehensive description of work processes. Self-programmed software should be made publicly available, if necessary for the reproduction of the research results, if possible with an indication of the source code. Scientists shall provide complete and correct evidence of their own and others' preliminary work. For reasons of traceability, connectivity of research, and re-use, scientists deposit the research data and central materials underlying the publication - following the FAIR principles ("Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-Usable") - in recognized archives and repositories whenever possible.

3. Scientific Publications and their Authorship

3.1 The following rules must be observed for the design of scientific publications:

  • Only publications that contain new observations or experimental results, including conclusions, for the first time can be designated as "original work".
  • Report any findings that support or challenge an author's hypothesis.
  • Findings, ideas, or publications by other authors should be identified as appropriate.
  • The exact description of the methods and results must be included concerning the verifiability of the scientific investigation.
  • The origin of data, organisms, materials, and software used in the research process is identified and subsequent use is documented; original sources are cited.
  • The type and scope of research data generated in the research process are described. The handling of this data is designed following the requirements of the subject concerned. The source code of publicly accessible software must be persistent, citable, and documented.
  • Fragmentation of investigations to increase the number of seemingly independent investigations should be avoided.
  • Self-citations are to be kept to a minimum.
  • The applied mechanisms of quality assurance are always outlined. This applies in particular when new methods are developed.

3.2 If more than one person is involved in a research project or in writing a scientific publication, they can only be named as authors if they have made a genuine, traceable contribution to the content of the publication. This includes for example

  • the development and conception of the research project or
  • the preparation, collection, acquisition, and provision of the data, software, sources or
  • the analysis/evaluation or interpretation of data, sources, and the conclusions drawn therefrom, or
  • the writing of the manuscript.

If an author feels that he or she has been ignored, the ombudsperson (item 6) can be called upon.

3.3 The claim to co-authorship is not based solely on:

  • purely technical involvement in data collection,
  • the provision of financial resources,
  • A managerial or supervisory role,
  • a mere reading of the manuscript without co-creation of the content,
  • honorary authorship.

Scientists agree on who is to become the author of the research results. Agreement on the order of authorship shall be reached on time, usually no later than when the manuscript is formulated, based on comprehensible criteria, taking into account the conventions of each discipline. If a contribution is not sufficient to justify authorship, acknowledgment of support elsewhere in Footnotes, Foreword, and Acknowledgement is possible.

3.4 All authors agree to the final version of the work to be published. The contribution of the individual person or work unit shall be documented. If the manuscript contains citations of unpublished observations of other persons or if findings of other institutions are used, their written consent must be obtained.

3.5 By giving their consent, co-authors assume joint responsibility for ensuring that the publication complies with the current scientific standard, in particular for the part to which their contribution was made. The responsibility concerns both the correctness of the own contribution and its integration into the publication.

3.6 Scientists pursuing a project together owe it to each other to promote the pursuit of the purpose. This includes raising doubts about the quality of the research results or procedures on time. It is against the rules of good scientific practice to terminate collaboration without sufficient reason or to prevent publication of the results as an author on whose approval the publication depends without urgent reason. Refusals to publish must be justified with verifiable criticism of data, methods, or results. In the case of suspected obstructive refusal of consent, the co-authors may turn to the ombudspersons or the Standing Commission (cf. Sections 6.8 and 8.2) for mediation. The facts of the case must be disclosed in the publication, including the publication approval by the ombudsperson or the Standing Commission.

3.7 Authors carefully select the publication medium - taking into account its quality and visibility in the respective field of discourse. In addition to publications in books and journals, specialized repositories, data and software repositories, and blogs are also considered. A new or unknown publication organ is checked for its seriousness. An important criterion in the selection decision is whether the publication organ has established its guidelines for good scientific practice. The scientific quality of a contribution does not depend on the publication organ in which it is made publicly available. Authors are jointly responsible for the publication unless it is explicitly stated for which parts of the publication they are responsible.

3.8 Authors shall ensure and, where possible, work to ensure that their research contributions are labeled by publishers or infrastructure providers in such a way that they can be correctly cited by users.

3.9 If scientists have made findings publicly available and subsequently notice discrepancies or errors, they correct them. If the discrepancies or errors are the reason for the retraction of a publication, the scientists shall work as quickly as possible with the relevant publisher or infrastructure provider, etc., to ensure that the correction or retraction takes place and is marked accordingly. The same applies if the scientists are informed of such discrepancies or errors by third parties.

3.10 Scientists who assume the function of editors carefully consider for which publication organs they assume this task.

3.11 Honest conduct is the basis of the legitimacy of a judgment process. Scientists who, in particular, assess submitted manuscripts, grant applications or the expulsion of persons are obliged to maintain strict confidentiality in this respect. They shall disclose all facts that may give rise to concerns of bias. The obligation to maintain confidentiality and to disclose facts that may give rise to concerns of bias also applies to members of scientific advisory and decision-making bodies. Thus, the confidentiality of third-party content to which experts and committee members gain access precludes both disclosure to third parties and personal use.

4. Performance Dimensions and Evaluation Criteria

Trier University of Applied Sciences will, as part of a performance evaluation, always prioritize originality and quality over quantity. Evaluators and reviewers are encouraged to explicitly value quality above all else.

A multidimensional approach is required for evaluating the performance of scientists: In addition to scientific performance, other aspects can be taken into account, including the commitment to teaching, academic self-administration, public relations, knowledge, and technology transfer, or contributions in the interest of society as a whole. The evaluation of performance primarily follows discipline-specific qualitative standards, whereby quantitative indicators can only be included in the overall evaluation in a differentiated and reflected manner. The scientific attitude of the scientist, such as openness to knowledge, willingness to critically reflect on one's findings, and willingness to take risks are also included. If voluntarily stated, individual characteristics in CVs are also included in the assessment - in addition to the categories of the General Equal Treatment Act - for example, periods of absence due to family or health reasons, qualification periods extended as a result, or alternative career paths.

5. Scientific Misconduct

5.1 Scientific misconduct shall be deemed to have occurred, in particular, if scientists intentionally or by gross negligence

  • false statements are made,
  • infringes the intellectual property of others, or
  • research activities are seriously impaired.

This also applies mutatis mutandis to technical employees. The circumstances of the individual case must be taken into account in the assessment.

5.2 Scientific misconduct within the meaning of Section 5.1 shall include, in particular:

(1) Misrepresentation, i.e.

  • the invention of data,
  • falsification or selection of data and sources (e.g. omission of undesirable results without disclosure; manipulation of sources, figures, or representations; suppression of relevant evidence, text, or sources), incongruence between image and associated statement. Incorrect information in a research or grant application or a letter of application (including false information about publications or publications in print).
  • Inaccurate information regarding the individual academic performance of applicants to selection committees.

(2) Infringement of intellectual property relating to a copyrighted work created by another or to substantial scientific knowledge, hypotheses, doctrines, or research originating from another, by:

  • the unauthorized use under the presumption of authorship (plagiarism),
  • using research approaches and ideas of others without citing the source (theft of ideas),
  • the presumption or unfounded assumption of scientific authorship or co-authorship,
  • the falsification of the content,
  • unauthorized publication and unauthorized making available to third parties as long as the work, finding, hypothesis, teaching, or research approach has not yet been published.
  • Claiming the (co-)authorship of another person without that person's consent.

(3) Interference with research activities by:

  • Sabotaging the research projects of others (including damaging, destroying, or tampering with equipment, records, hardware, software, experimental setups, etc.),
  • Theft of books, archival documents, manuscripts, and records, as well as their malicious transfer to other places,
  • Falsification or unauthorized disposal of research data or research documents,
  • Falsification or unauthorized disposal of research data documentation.

5.3 Shared responsibility for misconduct

Shared responsibility for misconduct may result from:

(1) active participation in the misconduct of others,

(2) co-authorship of publications containing forgeries; or

(3) a gross neglect of the duty of supervision.

6. Ombudspersons

6.1 Trier University of Applied Sciences appoints an independent ombudsperson and, in case of concern of their bias, a deputy ombudsperson as persons of trust and contact persons to whom its members, former members, relatives, former relatives, and doctoral students can turn to in questions of good scientific practice and questions of suspected scientific misconduct. The possibility of alternatively turning to the supra-regional "Ombudsperson for Science"² remains unaffected. The ombudsperson or deputy ombudsperson should already have management experience. A maximum of one re-election is permitted.

6.2 As ombudsperson and deputy ombudsperson, the Senate shall elect by a simple majority in separate ballots, upon the proposal of the Presidency, scientists of proven integrity who are members or affiliates of the university, have great experience and professional authority in the field of science, and who are not already obligated by their official position to take action against scientific misconduct, or could potentially be in a conflict of interest as (vice) president or dean or a similar leadership position.

6.3 The term of office is three years. Re-election is possible. The Presidium shall appoint the elected ombudsperson or deputy ombudsperson.

6.4 Names and contact details of the ombudsperson and the deputy ombudsperson will be published in writing and on the homepage of Trier University of Applied Sciences. The ombudspersons are supported by the university in terms of content and the performance of their duties and, if necessary, relieved of other tasks.

6.5 Tasks of the ombudsperson

The ombudsperson - in case of incapacity or apprehension of bias the deputy ombudsperson - has the following duties:

(1) As an ombudsperson, she advises the persons named in 6.1, who inform her of suspected scientific misconduct as defined in section 5.

(2) It shall, on its initiative, pick up and follow up on relevant leads of which it becomes aware directly or indirectly through third parties.

(3) It shall examine whether the allegations are plausible concerning their concreteness and significance as well as possible motives - while maintaining confidentiality insofar as these moments are not already known beyond the circle of those directly affected - and clarify whether there are possibilities to dispel the allegations (preliminary investigation according to Section 8.1 (3)). It is understood that further persons may be involved in the trust.

(4) It shall request the preliminary examination procedure from the Permanent Commission following Section 8.4.

(5) After the conclusion of a formal investigation procedure, it shall attend to the persons involved and inform them following the provisions of item 13).

(6) It shall be obliged to document its actions, taking into account the protection of the personality of informing and affected persons.

6.6 All members, former members, dependents, and former dependents of Trier University of Applied Sciences and doctoral students employed here, conducting research or co-supervised by one of their professors are entitled to speak to the ombudsperson in person within a short time.

6.7 Without the consent of affected persons, the ombudsperson may disclose confidential information only in the case of a reasonable suspicion of such serious academic misconduct that serious damage to the reputation of the university, its members, or third parties can be expected. The recipients of the disclosure include only the members of the university management or deans of the departments.

6.8 In the case of suspected obstructive refusal of consent to a publication in which several authors are involved, those wishing to publish can turn to the ombudspersons and the Standing Committee for mediation (cf. Section 8.2).

7. Standing Commission

7.1 Appointment of the Standing Commission

(1) Upon the proposal of the Presidency of the university, the Senate shall elect a permanent commission for formal proceedings in cases of academic misconduct for three years. The Senate shall elect the individual members of the commission and their deputies by a majority of its members. A single re-election is possible.

(2) The commission consists of three members, including the chairperson; these are experienced, recognized professors of Trier University of Applied Sciences who are active or retired and have integrity. One member should be qualified as a judge or have experience in out-of-court mediation.

(3) The names, addresses, and office hours of the members of the Standing Commission shall be published.

(4) By-elections within a term of office are possible in the event of the premature departure of individual members.

(5) The Ombudsperson and the Deputy Ombudsperson shall be members of the Standing Commission in an advisory capacity.

(6) The Presidium shall appoint the Standing Commission and oblige it to comply with these Statutes.

(7) The members of the commission must be impartial. In the event of bias, the president of the university shall propose a suitable substitute member of the standing committee for the committee member concerned in terms of suitability and function (following subsection (2)) and the senate shall elect such a substitute member for the duration of the formal proceedings in the specific case of suspicion.

7.2 Tasks of the Standing Commission

(1) The Standing Commission is responsible for investigating allegations of scientific misconduct. To this end, it shall conduct the investigation procedure following Clause 8; it may discontinue proceedings on suspicion of scientific misconduct or make suggestions as to how the misconduct found should be sanctioned (Clause 11). It may mediate in the case of an allegation of obstructive refusal to consent to a collaborative publication.

(2) The Permanent Commission shall act upon the request of the Ombudsperson, the Deputy Ombudsperson, or one of its members.

(3) The procedure before the Standing Commission shall not replace other procedures regulated by law or by the Statutes.

7.3 Chairmanship and Procedure of the Standing Commission

(1) The Standing Commission shall elect a chairperson and a deputy from among its members. The chairperson - or, if he or she is prevented from doing so, the deputy chairperson - shall invite members to the meetings of the Standing Commission, chair them and arrange for the implementation of their resolutions.

(2) The Standing Commission shall constitute a quorum if at least three members or deputy members are present. The Standing Commission shall decide by a simple majority of the members or deputy members present. Minutes shall be taken of its meetings and shall record the main outcome of the meeting.

(3) The Standing Commission may call in up to two further persons who have special expertise in the field of the scientific matter to be assessed or who have experience in dealing with relevant procedures as members in an advisory capacity.

(4) The deadlines to be set for statements, hearings, negotiations, and decisions shall be set by the Permanent Commission in each case in such a way as to ensure expeditious proceedings.

8. The Procedure in Cases of Scientific Misconduct and Scientifically Unfounded Refusal to Consent to a Collaborative Publication

8.1 Suspicion of scientific misconduct

(1) Reports are to be treated confidentially by all parties involved. If the informant(s) has/have already informed the public about the suspicion of scientific misconduct before informing the university, the handling of the suspicion shall be decided on a case-by-case basis. If a member of the commission receives information, he or she must in turn inform the ombudsperson immediately.

(2) The whistleblower's report must be made in good faith. Deliberately false or wanton accusations may themselves constitute scientific misconduct. The expression of suspicion may be in oral or written form. Written statements should include incriminating facts and evidence. If it is an oral statement of suspicion, it shall be recorded in a memo, citing the relevant facts and evidence. The whistleblower is to be protected even in the case of unproven scientific misconduct unless it can be proven that the report of the allegations was made against better knowledge. Anonymous tips will not be followed up.

(3) Within the framework of a preliminary investigation, the ombudsperson shall examine the allegations and attempt to dispel them. If this is successful, the ombudsperson shall inform the affected and informed persons. In case of dissatisfaction with this decision on the part of the informing persons, the Permanent Commission may be called upon.

(4) If the suspicions cannot be dispelled in the preliminary investigation, the Ombudsperson shall inform the Permanent Commission and report on his/her efforts.

(5) The investigation of allegations of scientific misconduct shall be conducted expressly with due regard for confidentiality and the fundamental principle of the presumption of innocence. The responsible bodies shall take appropriate measures to protect both the person making the report and the person affected by the allegations. Neither the person making the report nor the person affected by the allegations should suffer any disadvantages for his or her own scientific or professional advancement as a result of the report.

8.2 Authors of a planned publication may contact the ombudsperson in case of suspected obstructive refusal of consent with the request for mediation. If the obstruction is established to the conviction of the ombudsperson after obtaining the opinion of the person or persons concerned, the ombudsperson may allow the other scientists to publish the "Ombudsspruch". If the person or persons concerned object to the ombudsperson's decision within 2 weeks, the ombudsperson shall submit the request for permission to publish to the Standing Commission. The Standing Commission shall deliberate the case, hearing all parties concerned, and make a final decision. The facts of the case must be disclosed in the publication including the permission for publication by the Ombudsperson or the Standing Commission.

8.3 Statement by the person concerned or the person providing the information

(1) The person affected by the allegations shall immediately be allowed to comment by the Standing Commission, stating the incriminating facts and evidence, within two weeks or four weeks in the lecture-free period. In the sense of 8.1 (5), in the formal procedure, the person giving the hint is also allowed to comment.

(2) The names of the informing person shall not be mentioned without their consent.

8.4 Preliminary examination procedure by the Standing Commission

(1) After receiving the opinion of the person concerned or after the expiry of the set time limit, the Permanent Commission shall take a decision thereon within two weeks,

  • whether the proceedings are to be discontinued, with notification of the reasons to the persons concerned and the informing persons, because the suspicion of scientific misconduct has not been sufficiently confirmed or an alleged scientific misconduct has been fully clarified or the scientific misconduct is not serious and the persons concerned have admitted their misconduct, or
  • whether the preliminary examination procedure should be transferred to the formal investigation procedure for further clarification and decision;

the reasons for this must be recorded in writing.

(2) Objections of the informing person against the first-time employment can be presented - in writing or orally - within two or four weeks, respectively, in the lecture-free period, to the Standing Commission. This committee will deliberate and decide within two weeks or four weeks in the lecture-free period after having heard the person concerned once again following clauses 8.3 and 8.4 (1).

8.5 Formal procedure

(1) The opening of a formal investigation procedure shall be notified to the persons concerned together with the result of the preliminary examination. At the same time, a notification of the opening of the procedure shall be sent to the Presidium.

(2) The discussion shall take place in non-public oral proceedings to which the Chairperson of the Standing Commission shall issue an invitation.

(3) The examination of the suspicion of scientific misconduct shall be carried out by free assessment of the evidence. The person who is accused of scientific misconduct shall be allowed to comment appropriately. At his or her request, the person concerned shall be heard orally. In this context, the person concerned is permitted to call in a person of his or her confidence as an advisor during the hearing. The same applies to other persons who are to be heard.

(4) Upon request of the data subject, the name of the informing person shall be disclosed if the data subject cannot otherwise defend himself/herself properly or if the credibility and motives of the informing person are essential for the clarification of the allegations.

The disclosure shall be communicated to the informing person.

(5) The formal procedure shall be completed expeditiously, if possible within three months.

(6) The formal proceedings do not end when the person against whom the suspicion of academic misconduct is directed leaves Trier University of Applied Sciences.

9. Decision in the Formal Investigation Procedure

9.1 The Permanent Commission shall discontinue the proceedings if:

  • alleged scientific misconduct has been fully clarified,
  • it does not consider scientific misconduct to be proven,
  • it is not a case of serious misconduct and the person concerned has admitted his or her misconduct.

The Presidium shall be informed of the termination.

9.2 The procedure shall be continued if the suspicion of scientific misconduct is proven. The Presidency will be informed in writing of the result and will receive a proposal as to how the procedure should be continued - while safeguarding the rights of others.

9.3 The person concerned and the informing person shall be informed in writing of the reasons that led to the discontinuation of the proceedings or the forwarding to the Presidium.

9.4 There is no internal appeal procedure against the Commission's decision in the formal procedure.

9.5 At the end of a formal investigation procedure, the ombudsperson identifies all those persons who are or were involved in the case. He/she advises those persons, in particular junior scientists and students, who have been involved in processes of scientific misconduct through no fault of their own, concerning safeguarding their personal and scientific integrity.

9.6 The files of the investigation shall be kept for 30 years. The persons named in connection with a case of scientific misconduct are entitled to have the ombudsperson issue them with a notice (exonerating them) upon request regarding the duration of the retention period.

10. Decision of the Presidency

10.1 If the Standing Commission has identified scientific misconduct and reported on this following Section 9.2, the Presidency shall review the proposals of the Standing Commission according to the following standards:

  • Maintaining scientific standards,
  • Safeguarding the rights of all those directly and indirectly affected,
  • The nature and seriousness of the scientific misconduct,
  • The necessity of punishment depends on the circumstances of the individual case.

He or she shall initiate the necessary measures according to the results of this examination.

10.2 In cooperation with the Presidency, the departments shall examine the possible consequences according to Section 11 and whether or to what extent other scientists, scientific institutions, scientific journals and publishers (in the case of publications), funding agencies, scientific organizations, professional organizations, ministries or the public should or must be notified.

11. Possible Measures to be Taken by the Relevant Competent Bodies in the Event of Scientific Misconduct Being Identified

11.1 Consequences under labor and employment law

(1) In the case of an existing employment contract with the university, the following consequences under employment law may be considered in the event of academic misconduct:

  • Warning,
  • Extraordinary termination (including suspicious termination),
  • Ordinary termination,

(2) In the case of existing employment as a civil servant, the following disciplinary or service consequences shall be considered:

  • Reprimand, fine, pay cut,
  • Removal from service,
  • Withdrawal of appointment.

11.2 Civil law consequences

Civil consequences of scientific misconduct may include, for example:

  • Issuance of a ban from the premises,
  • Claims for restitution against affected parties (e.g. concerning stolen material),
  • Claims for removal and injunctive relief under copyright law, personal rights law, patent law, competition law,
  • Claims for repayment (e.g. of scholarships, third-party funds, etc.),
  • Claims for damages by Trier University of Applied Sciences or third parties in the event of personal injury, property damage, or infringement of copyright, personal rights, patent law, and competition law.

11.3 Academic Consequences

Academic consequences can be initiated at different levels and with different objectives.

(1) Within Trier University of Applied Sciences:

Withdrawal of academic degrees and academic designations if they are based on publications that are falsified or otherwise obtained through an act of fraudulent deception;

The Presidium shall inform the relevant bodies with a request to review and decide on this matter.

(2) Institutions and associations outside Trier University of Applied Sciences shall be notified of academic misconduct if alternatively:

  • these are directly affected by it,
  • the person concerned has a leading function in it,
  • there is participation of the data subject in decision-making bodies of funding organizations or the like,
  • the person concerned is a lecturer at another university.

(3) Revocation or withdrawal of scientific publications

The author concerned is obliged to revoke if the scientific misconduct is

  • in false statements or
  • in an infringement of intellectual property or
  • consists in participation in such misconduct

If the work is unpublished, it must be withdrawn in time.

Publications are to be revoked - concerning the parts affected. The responsible authors shall report to the Chair of the Standing Commission within a period to be specified on the work affected by falsification, in particular on the withdrawal of the work or the revocation of the publication. If there is no revocation or withdrawal of the work, the Presidium may, on the proposal of the Standing Commission, take appropriate measures for revocation of publications or withdrawal of the work. Publications that are falsified shall be removed from the author's list of publications or marked accordingly.

11.4 Consequences under criminal law

Criminal consequences of scientific misconduct can be considered in the case of the fulfillment of an offense in the sense of the German Penal Code (StGB), another criminal norm, or a misdemeanor, for example in the case of:

Copyright infringement,

  • Forgery of documents (including forgery of technical records),
  • Damage to property (including data alteration),
  • Property and pecuniary crimes (subsidy fraud, embezzlement, theft),
  • Violation of the personal sphere of life or secrecy (spying on data, exploitation of other people's secrets),
  • Life or bodily injury (e.g. of a test person as a result of incorrect data).

The Presidency shall decide at its due discretion whether and to what extent criminal charges will be filed on the part of the university.

12. Information of Third Parties in Need of Protection and the Public

Third parties concerned and/or the press shall be informed appropriately about the outcome of the investigation procedure if this appears necessary:

  • for the protection of third parties,
  • to maintain confidence in scientific probity,
  • To restore a scientific reputation,
  • to prevent consequential damage or
  • in the interest of the public.
13. Care for Fellow Sufferers

After a formal proceeding, care shall be taken to ensure that individuals who have been involved in incidents of scientific misconduct through no fault of their own suffer no further harm to their personal and scientific integrity. The following measures are to be offered:

  • Advice from the ombudsperson,
  • written statement by the Chairperson of the Standing Committee that the person in question is not to be charged with any scientific misconduct or joint responsibility (as per Section 5.3) for this.

Furthermore, as stated in Section 8.1 (5), informants must also be protected against discrimination.

14. Insertion of a Passage on Good Scientific Practice in Agreements on International Research Cooperation

If institutions or scientists of the university agree on international research collaboration, they shall include in the written agreement the passage recommended by the European Science Foundation, ALLEA (All European Academics), and the OECD Global Science Forum Coordinating Committee for facilitating international misconduct investigations as Annex II in "The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity" (Strasbourg, 2011), p. 16, or its most recent version (cf. the 2011 version in the Annex to these Statutes).

15. Transitional Provisions/Application when Leaving the University

(1) The facts of academic misconduct according to §5 apply only to acts committed when this Statute was already in force.

(2) The procedural provisions of this section shall apply only to notices received as of the entry into force of these Statutes. Preliminary investigation, preliminary examination, and investigation procedures already in progress when these Statutes come into force shall be completed following the procedural regulations previously in force.

(3) An offense can also be prosecuted if the accused person is no longer working scientifically at Trier University of Applied Sciences in the meantime, but was working scientifically there at the time of the offense.

16. Entry into force

These regulations come into force on the day following their announcement in the official publication organ of Trier University of Applied Sciences "publicus" and replace the regulations adopted by the Senate of Trier University of Applied Sciences on 13.07.2016 and the guidelines adopted by the Senate of Trier University of Applied Sciences on 21.04.2022.

Trier, the 06.07.2022

Prof. Dr. Dorit Schumann

President of Trier University of Applied Sciences


European Science Foundation, ALLEA - All European Academics: The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. (Strasbourg, March 2011). URL:

[Accessed: 10/26/2020]

ALLEA - All European Academics: The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. Revised Edition (Berlin, 2017). ISBN 978-3-00-055767-5. URL: [Accessed: 10/26/2020]

European Commission, EURAXESS: The European Charter for Research. URL: [Accessed: 27.10.2020].

European Commission, Directorate-General for Research, Directorate The human factor, mobility, and Marie Curie activities, Unit D1: European Charter for Researchers, Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. EUR 21620 (2005). ISBN 92-894-9313-5. URL: [accessed: 27.10.2020]

German Council of Science and Humanities (WR): Recommendations on scientific integrity. Position paper. Drs. 4609-15 (Stuttgart, April 2015). URL: [Accessed: 26.10.2020].

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft: Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis. Memorandum. (2013) supplemented edition. WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. ISBN 978-3-527-33703-3

German Research Foundation (DFG). Equal Opportunities, Scientific Integrity and Procedural Design Group: Guidelines for Ensuring Good Scientific Practice. Code (August 2019). URL: [accessed Oct. 26, 2020].

German Research Foundation (DFG): Rules of Procedure for Dealing with Scientific Misconduct (VerfOwF). Adopted by the Joint Committee on 26 October 2001, amended by resolutions of the Joint Committee on 5 July 2011, 3 July 2018, and 2 July 2019. DFG form 80.01 - 08/19. URL: [Accessed 27 Oct. 2020].

German Rectors' Conference (HRK): Recommendation of the 14th General Assembly of the HRK on May 14, 2013, in Nuremberg. Good scientific practice at German universities. URL: [Accessed: 27.10.2020]

German Rectors' Conference (HRK): Recommendation of the 185th Plenum on July 6, 1998, in Bonn. On dealing with scientific misconduct in universities.URL: [Accessed: 27.10.2020]

Joint position paper of the Allgemeiner Fakultätentag (AFT), the Fakultätentage, and the Deutscher Hochschulverband (DHV) of July 9, 2012: Good scientific practice for writing scientific qualification theses. URL: [Accessed: 27.10.2020]

Joint position paper of the Allgemeiner Fakultätentag (AFT), the Fakultätentage, and the Deutscher Hochschulverband (DHV) of May 21, 2013: AFT, Fakultätentage, and DHV recommend universities comprehensive catalog of measures for the design of doctoral procedures. URL: [Accessed: 27.10.2020]

Koblenz University of Applied Sciences: Guidelines for Ensuring Good Scientific Practice and Rules for Dealing with Scientific Misconduct (December 2002)

Statutes of the University of Applied Sciences Fulda to ensure the good scientific practice of May 22, 2002 (StAnz. S. 3411)

Annex 1

address updated in October 2020:

Ombudsman for science


Jägerstrasse 22-23

10117 Berlin

Phone: 030/20370 484




Annex 2

European Science Foundation, ALLEA – All European Academics: The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. (Strasbourg, March 2011), S. 16. Annex II: Boilerplate text for International Agreements, as suggested by the OECD Global Science Forum Coordinating Committee for facilitating international misconduct investigations

“We, the parties, agree: 

  • to conduct our research according to the standards of research integrity, as defined in the ‘Guidance Notes for Developing Procedures to Investigate Research Misconduct Allegations in International Collaborative Research Project’ ( and other appropriate documents, including: (specify  the national codes of conduct and disciplinary or national ethical guidelines that apply)³;

  • that any suspected deviation from these standards, in particular alleged research misconduct, will be brought to the immediate attention of (all designated contact point(s))4 and investigated according to the policies and procedures of (to be filled in with the body with primary responsibility)5, while respecting the laws and sovereignty of the States of all participating parties; 

  • to cooperate in and support any such investigations; and

  • to accept (subject to any appeal process) the conclusions of any such investigation and to take appropriate actions.


1 According to Empfehlungen zu wissenschaftlicher Integrität. Positionspapier des Wissenschaftsrats 2015, pp. 7 and 8.

2See the current address at the time of adoption of these guidelines in Annex 1.

3 Cf. the sources of the Guidelines for Good Scientific Practice at Trier University of Applied Sciences.

4 For Trier University of Applied Sciences: the Bylaws on Research Integrity at Trier University of Applied Sciences

5 For Trier University of Applied Sciences: the ombudsperson at Trier University of Applied

DFG Guidelines for Dealing with Generative Models for Text and Image Creation

In view of its considerable opportunities and development potential, the use of generative models in the context of research work should by no means be ruled out. However, certain binding framework conditions will be required in order to ensure good research practice and the quality of research results:

  • The transparency and verifiability of the research process and the findings obtained from the point of view of third parties are key fundamental principles of research integrity. This value system continues to provide valuable guidance when dealing with generative models for text and image creation.
  • It is in keeping with the professional ethics of researchers that they themselves should commit to compliance with the basic principles of research integrity. The use of generative models cannot relieve researchers of this content-related and formal responsibility.
  • When making their results publicly available, researchers should, in the spirit of research integrity, disclose whether or not they have used generative models, and if so, which ones, for what purpose and to what extent.
  • Only the natural persons responsible can appear as authors in research publications. They must ensure that the use of generative models does not infringe anyone else’s intellectual property and does not result in scientific misconduct, for example in the form of plagiarism.
  • In decision-making processes, the use of generative models in/for proposals submitted to the DFG is currently assessed to be neither positive nor negative.
  • The use of generative models in the preparation of reviews is inadmissible due to the confidentiality of the assessment process. Documents provided for review are confidential and in particular may not be used as input for generative models.

↗ Website of the DFG with the guidelines for dealing with generative models for text and image creation

The ombudspersons at Trier University of Applied Sciences advise, support and mediate in matters of good scientific practice and in matters of suspected scientific misconduct.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Peter Koch

Substitute ombudsperson
Dr. Markus Schwinn

Laboratory Work of 2 Persons

The statutes were published on 7.7.2022 in the „publicus“ of Trier University of Applied Sciences.

Standing Commission on Good Scientific Practice

Prof. Dr. Kathrin Nitschmann, Department of Environmental Business/Environmental Law
Prof. Dr. Christina Threuter, Department of Art and Design
Prof. Dr. Heike Raddatz, Department of Building +Living

Substitute members:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Schmitz, Department of Computer Science
(Substitute: Prof. Dr. Kathrin Nitschmann)

Prof. Dr. Dominik Kramer, Department of Economics
(Substitute: Prof. Dr. Christina Threuter)

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