Danish Committee on Research Misconduct (DCRM)
1992 – for the Danish Committee on Research Misconduct (until 2017 ‘the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty').
In Denmark it is currently the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science that is responsible for the promotion of research integrity on the national level.
Investigations of allegations of research misconduct are handled by the Danish Committee on Research Misconduct (DCRM) at the national level. The DCRM has exclusive competence to deal with such cases while research institutions have a legal obligation to handle instances of questionable research practice. All allegations of suspected breaches of research integrity matters must be handed in at the relevant institution for an initial assessment. If the case then involves research misconduct the institution is obliged to forward the case to the DCRM. If the case only involves questionable research practice the matter must be resolved at the institutional level.
The DCRM is an independent body under the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science where the DCRM secretariat is situated. It was established in 1992, initially on a trial basis. The DCRM then consisted of one committee exclusively handling cases of research misconduct in medical research. In 1999 the DCRM was made permanent and expanded with two additional committees consisting of the following sub-committees:
- Committee on Scientific Dishonesty for Health and Medical Sciences.
- Committee on Scientific Dishonesty for Natural, Technological and Production Sciences.
- Committee on Scientific Dishonesty for Cultural and Social Sciences.
In 2017 the system with sub-committees was replaced by a single research misconduct committee with a High Court judge as chairman and 8-10 recognized researchers as members representing different scientific areas. The committee has the option on a case to case basis to include ad hoc expert assistance.
ENRIO member since
Legally based, part of ministry
The Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education is responsible for promoting research integrity in Denmark.
The DCRM is responsible for investigating allegations concerning research misconduct which are of significance for Danish research.
Any individual or organisation may submit an allegation of research misconduct to the research institution where the research in question has been carried out. The institution will then review the case to see if it concerns research misconduct or questionable research practice as defined in the law. If it is a case of research misconduct and the following conditions are met, the institution must forward the case to the DCRM with a report on the facts of the case:
- The allegation must relate to a scientific product, for example a scientific paper, a Ph.D. thesis or similar.
- The allegation must relate to a researcher having contributed to the scientific product in question.
- The allegations put forward must concern research misconduct. Questions about scientific disagreements, the quality of research and questionable research practice is outside the mandate of the DCRM.
- The allegations put forward are reasoned by the complainant.
When a case is forwarded to the DCRM and falls within the committee’s mandate an investigation is initiated based on the report of the research institution.
The person alleged to have committed research misconduct will always be given the chance to comment on the material in the case before a decision is made by the committee.
The DCRM may during the investigation request further information from the persons and institutions involved and others. The DCRM can also set up special committees ad hoc to analyse specific aspects of the case, and the DCRM may ask external experts for specific advice.
DCRM’s decisions are sent directly to the person alleged to have committed research misconduct and to the institution involved in the case. Decisions are also made available in anonymous form on a web page. Decisions by the DCRM cannot be appealed to any other administrative body.
Neither the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education nor the DCRM undertake training, however the Agency facilitates an exchange of experience between the various research institutions as part of the Agency’s promotion of research integrity.
Promoting Research Integrity
The promotion of research integrity at the national level in Denmark is handled by the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The Ministry aims at maintaining the high quality of Danish research by focusing on strengthening and further developing the credibility and integrity of the research carried out in Denmark. This is primarily done through policymaking – e.g. the Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity – and facilitating network meetings with the key stakeholders in Danish research.
The Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity provides the research community with a framework to promote commonly agreed principles and standards. The Code of Conduct aims to support a common understanding and common culture of research integrity in Denmark.
The DCRM is not tasked with the direct promotion of research integrity in Denmark. The DCRM contribute to strengthen the credibility of Danish research and to prevent research misconduct through the investigation of allegations concerning research misconduct
Dr. Thomas Nørgaard
Special Adviser, Dr. sc. nat.
Ministry of Higher Education and Science
Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education
Secretariat for the DCRM, Legal Affairs
1260 Copenhagen - Denmark