New system for handling allegations in Sweden soon

A new system for dealing with alleged research misconduct in Sweden

A new structure for taking care of allegations of research misconduct will soon be in place in Sweden. Today these cases are handled solely by the separate universities themselves. If someone however request for it, the universities are obliged to ask for a statement from the Expert Group on Research Misconduct. This happens rarely and the statements from the Expert Group are just statements, not decisions. This means that if the university do not like the statement – which happens from time to time – they are free to have a different opinion.

From January 2019, at least that is the schedule, a new authority will start to work and there will be a new law on research misconduct. This authority will handle all cases of alleged research misconduct and the authority will take decisions, not non mandatory statements. This development are more than welcomed although the proposal has some major shortcomings; one of them being the definition of research misconduct, which is suggested to be narrow and limited to FFP. Another one is that only research within the universities will be in the authorities jurisdiction and nor for example performed within the private sector. Even though, it will be a much better situation than today.