Our research ombudsperson has an advisory and mediating capacity at the University of Konstanz.
He or she is available to all researchers at the university. They can directly contact this person independently and without prior knowledge of their superior or the Rectorate if they need advice and support in questions on good scientific practice and potential violations thereof or the resulting conflict from such violations. This also applies to persons who have reported academic misconduct (whistleblower) and thus are subject to sanctions by other institutions. Persons who are suspected of potential violations can consult the ombudsperson.
The ombudsperson will treat all matters as strictly confidential. He or she will not inform persons, institutions or managing bodies that are not directly involved. Ensuring confidentiality protects all persons involved in a process and it also applies after the case has been closed.
Basic principles of the work of the ombudsperson:
- DFG memorandum, 2013: "Proposals for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice, Recommendations of the Commission on Professional Self Regulation in Science" de/en (pdf)
- DFG memorandum, 2013: "Proposals for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice, Recommendations of the Commission on Professional Self Regulation in Science" de/en (e-paper)
- Guidelines to ensure good scientific practice and for the handling of academic misconduct (PDF, 110 KB)
In addition to or instead of contacting the local ombudsperson at the University of Konstanz, researchers may also consult the DFG and its Research ombudsperson, even if the case does not directly involve or affect the DFG. This could be a helpful alternative if, for example, the concerns involve more than one university.
The local ombudsperson and the DFG's Research ombudsperson provide advice, mediation and support. Their responsibility is not to investigate, assess or sanction misconduct. Both the University of Konstanz and the DFG have separate institutions for those purposes.
The Commission of Inquiry into Scientific Misconduct at the University of Konstanz handles reports of scientific misconduct.
Further information and recommendations about scientific integrity, ombudspersons’ responsibilities and procedures relating to scientific misconduct are available from the DFG, the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), as well as the German Council of Science and Humanities.