Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK)
Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK) founded in 1991 to address ethical questions relating to research and to the advancement of research ethics in Finland (Decree 1347 of 15 November 1991). The Ministry of Education and Culture appoints the members of TENK for a three-year term based on a proposal from the scientific community.
ENRIO member since
Finnish National Board on Research Integrity was founded by decree of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Secretariat is attached to the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (not part of ministry).
TENK GUARANTEES ETHICS AND QUALITY IN RESEARCH
- by preventing research misconduct in all scientific disciplines
- by drawing up national guidelines
- by organising seminars and promoting education
- by coordinating ethical reviewing of the human sciences
- by networking and being influential both nationally and internationally
TENK MONITORS RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH
- by following and compiling statistics on violations of responsible conduct of research
- by issuing statements on investigations on allegations of misconduct on responsible conduct of research
- by providing advice in problematic situations
TENK’s preventative ethical instructions, Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland. Guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity 2012 (the RCR guidelines) had a total of 77 committed signatories by the end of 2016: all the universities in Finland, a majority of universities of applied sciences, and almost all publicly funded research institutions. The RCR guidelines provide researchers with a model for the responsible conduct of research. The effectiveness of these guidelines is based on a voluntary commitment by the research community to adhere to them, and to increase awareness of the principles of research integrity. The RCR guidelines apply to all academic disciplines in Finland, and a list of the organisations committed to these guidelines can be found on the National Board’s website.
The premise of the RCR guidelines is that promoting the responsible conduct of research and handling alleged violations are primarily the responsibility of the organisations conducting research. When alleged misconduct has been reported and the report has been finalised by the organisation, the party dissatisfied with the ruling may request a statement from TENK. (See attached charts of the RCR process and TENK’s statement process.)
TENK does not conduct the preliminary inquiry or the investigation proper and it does not arrange hearings.
Higher education institutions and research organisations often ask the Secretary General to give lectures on the field of research integrity. TENK offers training for research integrity officers of universities, universities of applied sciences, and publicly funded research institutions.
Promoting Research Integrity
TENK focuses on promoting the responsible conduct of research, as well as formulating and publicising common guidelines in co-operation with the research organisations.
National guidelines drawn up by TENK:
- Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland
- Template for a researcher’s curriculum vitae
- Ethical review in the human sciences
- Research integrity recommendations for universities regarding dissertation supervision and review
In addition to drafting these guidelines, the National Board’s activities focus on various national and international specialist tasks and networking, with a view to improving the culture of research integrity. This includes counselling researchers and postgraduate students, as well as other preventative work.