Good scientific practice
High quality research
The University is legally obliged to ensure good scientific practice in its teaching and research.
FAU has therefore developed regulations (in German) based on the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (in German). They provide guidance on good scientific practice for researchers from all disciplines.
Check list for carrying out and supervising doctoral degrees
To ensure that doctoral degrees are completed successfully it is important that doctoral candidates and their supervisors are aware of their rights, obligations and responsibilities. The check list Checklist for carrying out and supervising doctoral degrees is used as a guideline. It provides the basis for the initial meeting between the doctoral candidate and their supervisor that must be held at the start of the process.
Proposed supervision agreement
We strongly recommend that the doctoral candidate and their supervisor sign a supervision agreement, and many areas within FAU have accepted this as common practice. The benefits of signing an agreement such as this are clear. It helps both parties in the supervision relationship clarify their rights, obligations and expectations and agree on the details which should apply in each individual case. This helps avoid misunderstandings and forms the basis for a fruitful cooperation.
We offer a proposed supervision agreement, which we would recommend using in combination with the attached check list for the initial meeting between doctoral candidates and their supervisor. This ensures that the supervision agreement provides structured documentation of the agreements reached during this meeting.
Check list for discussion after completing a doctoral degree
After completing your doctoral degree, you will generally receive a new employment contract with the University when you begin the postdoctoral phase. An overview of the most important topics that you should discuss with your future manager with regard to your contract is provided in the Check list for discussion after completing a doctoral degree (in German). You and your future manager can use this check list as a guideline when discussing a new contract or extending an existing contract.
Citing your own research, in particular from pre-prints, in your doctoral thesis
Added: According to the Regulations for safeguarding good scientific practice and dealing with scientific misconduct at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), individual and third-party preparatory work must be fully and correctly cited (Section 6). This of course also applies to results, content or figures from the individual’s own preparatory work/publications which are used in doctoral theses. In principle, these should be referenced or cited in just the same way as work from other scientists or scholars in accordance with the standards applicable to the subject in question. Helpful information about avoiding self-plagiarism can be found in the information sheet form the Graduate Centre.
Commission for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct
If the commission is informed of any scientific misconduct, it carries out thorough checks in a closed two-phase procedure, firstly with a hearing of the persons involved, and secondly with external reviewers and makes recommendations to the President for how to proceed further in a final report. The case is closed if the commission cannot find any evidence of scientific misconduct. The President decides how to proceed on the basis of the final report and whether there will be any sanctions for the person/s involved.
Guidelines and recommendations
- Full recommendations of the German Research Foundation (DFG) on ‘Safeguarding good scientific practice’ (in German)
- Gemeinsames Positionspapier des Allgemeinen Fakultätentags (AFT) der Fakultätentage und des Deutschen Hochschulverbands (DHV) from 9 July 2012 (in German)
- FAU guidelines for the processes of the Commission for Research Conflict Management (in German)
- Quality criteria for open access publishers
- Recommendations for the standardised indication of affiliation in publications
Videos of workshops and events on good scientific practice
We have documented some of our events on good scientific practice for you. Although they were held some time ago, the information is still highly relevant.