Responsible conduct of research
Responsible conduct of research forms a basis for all research activities. Responsible conduct of research means practicing integrity, meticulousness and accuracy in all phases of research, using ethically sustainable methods that fulfill scientific criteria, as well as respectful and responsible conduct towards other researchers. Responsible data management as well as openness in sharing the results and conflicts of interest are in the core of responsible conduct of research.
Commitment to responsible conduct of research is primarily up to you, but also to your supervisor, the whole research team, the head of your research unit and the leadership of the University. In addition to good scientific practice, you must take into account up-to-date legislation. At the University of Eastern Finland, violations of good scientific practice are monitored by the leadership of the University (Rector and Academic Rector).
The National Advisory Board on Research Integrity (Tutkimuseettinen neuvottelukunta, TENK) appointed by the Ministry of Culture and Education has issued research ethics guidelines Responsible Conduct of Research and Procedures for Handling Allegations and Misconduct in Finland (pdf) and
Recommendation for Agreeing on Authorship for Research Publications (pdf).
Universities Finland (UNIFI) and The National Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK) have also compiled a recommendation Supervision of Doctoral Dissertations and Their Review Process in Finland with a Special Emphasis on Research Integrity (pdf).
You, just like all doctoral researchers, have to be aware of good scientific practices before starting the doctoral studies.
Ethical review and licenses
The ethical committees assess the ethicality of research project and, if necessary, give statements about them. Responsibility for adhering to the ethical guidelines remains with you despite of a statement issued by the ethical committee.
You may also need a permit for your research. The research permit practices vary depending on the discipline and research type.
If you use customer and register data generated in social and health care activities for a purpose other than the primary purpose for which they were originally saved, you must apply for statistical data with a data request and individual-level data with a data permit. More information about Act on the Secondary Use of Health and Social Data.
It is good to reserve time for ethical review and research permit practices in your research plan, since processing occurs via established systems and time-frames.
A research permit must be sought from the target organisation from which research subjects are recruited. If the ethical statement is needed, it must be sought before the research permit.
The Committee on Research Ethics of the University of Eastern Finland carries out reviews and issues statements on research projects and studies in the humanities and social and behavioural sciences. The Committee adheres to the Guidelines of the National Advisory Board on Research Ethics relating to research in the humanities and social and behavioural sciences.
Requests for statement and instructions: Committee on Research Ethics of the University of Eastern Finland
Scientific research always requires a research permit (at Kuopio University Hospital: an organisation permit). Other permits, statements, and notifications may also be required, depending on the type of research. For example, the Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea must be notified of interventional clinical trials on medicinal products, and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL grants permission to use registers. Research must not be started before all the required permits have been granted.
When a research project or study in Health Sciences or Medicine intervenes with the physical or mental integrity of a person, the project or study is required by law to undergo an ethical review by the ethics committee of the hospital district concerned. Research projects and studies in Medicine and Health Sciences carried out at the University of Eastern Finland are reviewed by the Research Ethics Committee of the Northern Savo Hospital District. The review of the committee adheres to the Medical Research Act (1999/488).
Requests for statement and instructions: Research Ethics Committee of the Northern Savo Hospital District
The use of laboratory animals is subject to a licence. The use of animals for experimental purposes is regulated in Finland by the Act on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific or Educational Purposes (497/2013), the Government Decree on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific or Educational Purposes (564/2013) and other legislation on the use of animals for experimental purposes.
Further information is available on the website of the the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland.
The use of gene technology is regulated by Gene Technology Act (377/1995). The Board for Gene Technology (GTLK), which operates in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, is the competent authority in Finland regarding the use of genetically modified organisms in accordance with the Act. The Advisory Board on Biotechnology is a consultative body of experts in issues related to bio- and gene technology.
Authenticity check of manuscripts
Turnitin is a tool for checking the authenticity of the text, which you can utilise when ever you write academic texts. You can, for example, check the manuscripts of the scientific articles before submitting them. The doctoral dissertation must be checked with Turnitin before submitting it to pre-examination. More information on the topic: Permission for public examination and pre-examination of doctoral dissertation.
Course on Research ethics
On the course Research ethics you will familiarise yourself with ethical thinking and ethical challenges related to different phases of research.
The website Responsible research collects timely information on the topic: good scientific practices, research ethics, responsible publishing and open science.