CSIC publishes a new Code of Good Science Practice

A researcher works in a laboratory. / RC

Develops aspects of research interest with humans and animals, and the safety of researchers

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When protests against the extremely harsh treatment of animals in a private laboratory in Madrid did not subside, the Supreme Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) just released a new Code of Good Scientific Practice (CBPC), which among other things. things, they reinforce responsible behavior in research and require that experiments be “carefully designed”. This new edition, more complete and revised, supersedes the previous edition, from 2011, and is applicable to all research staff of the institution. The document warns against poor research practices, especially the fabrication, falsification or theft of results.

The new law develops aspects of scientific work, among them those related to research with humans, with animals, the safety and health of researchers and the rest of society, as well as environmental protection. The document also addresses the scientific communication tasks performed by researchers.

“The new CSIC Code of Good Scientific Practice seeks to promote responsible conduct and excellence in research and is applicable to all research staff of the institution, including those who train and those who carry out technical and support tasks related to research,” says Luis Montoliu, chair of the ethics committee at CSIC. CSIC and researcher at the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC).

The CSIC Code of Good Scientific Practice promotes scientific integrity, and emphasizes values ​​such as honesty, impartiality, or independence. The document states that experiments and observations should be designed carefully, accurately and intelligently, with the ultimate goal of ensuring accurate and complete information, and the best use of available resources.

The Code seeks to promote responsible conduct and excellence in research and is applicable to all research personnel of the institution

The new law emphasizes that assessment tasks must be carried out strictly and that the researcher’s work must be developed as a coach and supervisor, exercising leadership. In addition, the obligations that teachers have in relation to their pupils or research staff are reminded of the training. The latter’s commitments with respect to their supervisors, the group, and the research work they do are also highlighted.

Respect for agreements adopted in any scientific collaboration, internal or external, is also developed in the new Code, with explicit mention of contracted scientific activity and advisory work done by scientists. Similarly, the management of research findings subject to protection is addressed.

It also devotes a chapter to the publication of findings, how to prepare for this stage, and what to consider when publishing research findings, with particular emphasis on issues of authorship and important recommendations when disseminating them through the media.

“When CSIC researchers present their opinions and scholarly analysis on topics for which they are recognized experts, they speak in their personal capacity, not on behalf of the institution, unless they are invited to do so by the institution itself,” says the chair of the CSIC Ethics Committee.

gender equality

The Code also addresses violations of scientific integrity and poor research practices that should be avoided at all times, particularly those that are more dangerous and clearly falsified, such as fabrication, falsification or plagiarism, among others. The new law also refers to conflict of interest management, although it is further developed in the CSIC’s Conflicts of Interest Handbook.

The new law ends with a section on institutional commitment in which it is emphasized that the goal of this institution is the pursuit of excellence in the development of scientific research, with a commitment to producing and communicating results of the highest quality, in addition to consolidating the commitment to open science.

«CSIC is committed to promoting a culture of honesty in the scientific environment and promoting responsible conduct in research, equal opportunity without any kind of discrimination and, in particular, a gender perspective in science, with actions that allow movement towards full equality between men and women in the institution, with a strong commitment with diversity and inclusion,” concludes Montolio.

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