For the SNSF, research integrity means the commitment of each scientist to sound scientific practices. Acts of misconduct, procedures and sanctions are defined in its regulations on the treatment of scientific misconduct.
Sound research practices serve as an important guideline for all persons involved in the SNSF’s activities, be it as members of the National Research Council, as applicants or project staff, or as reviewers. Confidence in the fact that research work is carried out conscientiously is a sine qua non for research funding. The SNSF therefore urges all parties with whom it works together to maintain a self-critical attitude where adherence to sound scientific practices is concerned.
Commission on Research Integrity
In case of any suspicion of scientific misconduct in funding applications to the SNSF, the Commission for Scientific Integrity is responsible for the proceedings. The plagiarism control group also carries out random checks on the applications. The SNSF imposes sanctions for plagiarism and other scientific misconduct identified in submitted applications. It regularly publishes reports on the number of such cases.
- Regulations of the Commission on Research Integrity of 2016 (PDF)
- Composition of the Commission on Research Integrity (PDF)
- Report of the Plagiarism Control Group and the SNSF Scientific Integrity Commission of 2020 (PDF)
- Previous reports from the Plagiarism Control Group and the SNSF Commission on Research Integrity (ZIP)
Regulations define acts of misconduct and sanctions
These define the organisation and competencies of the Commission on Research Integrity appointed by the National Research Council.It sets out the procedures to be applied in cases of suspected misconduct, along with possible sanctions (e.g. letter of warning or exclusion from the application process for a limited period), and the procedural rights of the parties concerned. Sanctions by the SNSF are in accordance with Article 12 of the Research and Innovation Promotion Act (RIPA).
Guidelines for applicants
Research plan: The research plan must consist of original text that has been written by the applicants themselves. A limited amount of text (or other material, graphs, etc.) by third parties or text published by the applicants themselves is permissible in the sections concerning the state of research in the field (2.1) and the state of their own research (2.2) as well as when describing standard methods. The quoted texts must be clearly designated as such (quotation marks or appropriate wording) and a verifiable source must be mentioned nearby and in the bibliography. The SNSF uses a special software to compare texts and analyse suspected cases of plagiarism. A number of universities have made such programs available to their students and employees. The responsible institution can be contacted for further information.
Bibliography: The sources of all concluded and/or ongoing work referred to in the research plan are to be listed. The full reference, especially the title, source and full author list is to be indicated. Do not use "et al." to shorten the author list. (Exception: the author list may be shortened if a publication involves large international consortia with over 50 authors. In this case, a link to the complete reference must be included).
Research output list (only personal contributions): Depending on the research field, the applicant’s position in the list of authors may give an indication on his/her contribution to the scientific work (see also: Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences – Integrity in scientific research – Principles and procedures). The number of publications of an applicant as responsible author without the contribution of his/her PhD or postdoc supervisor is used, among other criteria, as a measure of his/her scientific independence. The total number of publications or the number of publications per year is not considered to be the only indicator of performance.
Articles and items relevant to the research project must be clearly highlighted. The applicant’s name in the list of authors and the publication year must be clearly visible (e.g. boldfaced or underlined). Do not use "et al." to shorten the list of authors, unless the research project was conducted by a large international collaboration with more than 50 authors and a direct link to the full publication is given.
General principles of research integrity are set out in the following international codes of conduct. They are not normative and do not replace specific national, local or disciplinary guidelines or provisions as the principle of academic self-regulation applies: