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Higher Education Management and Policy

Institutional Management in Higher Education

  • Discontinued

Previously published as Higher Education Management, Higher Education Management and Policy (HEMP) is published three times each year and is edited by the OECD’s Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education. It covers the field through articles and reports on such issues as quality assurance, human resources, funding, and internationalisation. It also is a source of information on activities and events organised by OECD’s IMHE Programme.

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Keywords: university, policy, administration, institutional, higher, education, practical, practice, management, policies, tertiary

Individual and Institutional Liability of Researchers in the Case of Scientific Fraud

Values and Ethics

Institutional Management in Higher Education

How have university institutions generally tackled the fight against scientific fraud? We intend to throw light on the very process of public disclosure of scientific fraud, as it has transformed in the last 30 years within the framework of scientific research institutions.

By focusing our analysis on the “denunciation process”, we intend to refer to the dual issue of the researcher’s individual liability on the one hand and the institutional liability of the structures on the other. Passing from the individual stage, which involves criteria such as the truth of the research, to an institutional stage, which involves common ethical references, the analysis will highlight that the issue of research integrity (the accuracy of an assumption made by the researcher and its actual object) has been replaced by an ethical value more widely shared by the international scientific community. Chapter 3 below will demonstrate that this ethical value can be defined either as “confidence in science as a whole” or “the duty of objectivity relative to freedom of research”.

The disclosure of scientific fraud is not only a private stage on which an “individual drama” is unfolding, involving the researcher’s personal conscience or that of their closer associates; it is a “public stage” where inter-subjective references clash with collective values. This switch from private issue to institutional context has yet to be clarified in the knowledge society; while we know exactly what standards in terms of ethics and deontology are being breached by researchers when they do not comply with truth criteria, the collective institutional values involved in the case of scientific fraud have still to be examined... 

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