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The ethical guidelines for research at OsloMet

The ethical guidelines for research at OsloMet

The ethical guidelines for research at OsloMet issued by the Rector on 9. October 2014.
  • Introduction

    All research and scientific activities are based on trust. The research community and wider society should feel confident that research is conducted in compliance with generally accepted requirements to integrity and objectivity. The abovementioned requirements are stated in the
    general guidelines ( developed for our sector by the Norwegian National Committees for Research Ethics in 2014.

    The guidelines for research ethics issued by Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) are based on the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges, the Act relating to Ethics and Integrity in Research and pursuant regulations, and on the ethical norms prepared by the Norwegian National Committees for Research Ethics These guidelines shall apply for academic staff, visiting researchers, PhD candidates, and students conducting research at OsloMet (hereinafter referred to as 'researcher' or 'researchers').

    The University, represented by the Rector, is responsible for ensuring that research is conducted in compliance with current laws, regulations, and guidelines.

    The Deans/Centre Directors are delegated responsibility for ensuring that the regulations are observed and continually assessed; see roles and responsibilities of persons/entities responsible for research at Oslo Metropolitan University.

    Leaders at all levels are responsible for entrenching the regulations among researchers, providing guidance in research ethics, finding a good balance between trust and control, and for developing an open and transparent research culture that makes it difficult to get away
    with misconduct.

    Project managers are responsible for ensuring that research is conducted in compliance with good research practice and recognised academic and ethical principles in their respective disciplines and within the established framework.

    Supervisors have a particular responsibility for informing PhD candidates and students of the regulations for research ethics that apply in their respective disciplines.

    Project team members, students, and PhD candidates are personally responsible for familiarising themselves with issues concerning research ethics. 

  • Scientific misconduct

    • OsloMet accepts no form of scientific misconduct.
    • Scientific misconduct includes serious breaches of recognised standards of research ethics; see the Act concerning Ethics and Integrity in Research, section 8. It covers but is not limited to falsifying or fabricating data, plagiarism, and gross negligence during the application phase or while conducting or reporting on research. It also covers:
      • deliberate suppression of undesirable results
      • deliberately misleading use of statistical methods
      • deliberately misleading information about who contributed to the research and the number of contributors
      • deliberately or through gross negligence withholding details of methodology
      • deliberate misinformation about academic qualifications in applications
      • deliberate destruction of research information to hamper investigation in the event of suspected fraud
    • Staff and students at OsloMet have the right and duty to report scientific misconduct
    • The requirement of scientific integrity applies to all types of research. OsloMet has rules for handling cases of scientific misconduct.
  • Good scientific practice

    Research ethics involve ethical issues concerning the role of the researcher and the practice of research:

    • Integrity: The researcher is responsible for the credibility of his or her own research. Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, and similar serious violations of good scientific practice are incompatible with such credibility.
    • Impartiality: The researcher must avoid confusing roles and relationships in a way that may give rise to reasonable doubt concerning conflicts of interest; see the Act relating to Procedure in Cases concerning Public Administration, section 6. Impartiality may also arise after a discretionary assessment. Openness about relevant roles and relationships in which the researcher is involved must be clarified with colleagues, research participants, sources of finance and other relevant parties.
    •  Independence: The researcher must be ensured freedom of choice of topic, method, how to conduct the research, and publication of results.
    •  Openness: The researcher must make available research results to ensure verifiability and to give something back to the research subjects and to wider society.

    OsloMet has a particular responsibility for ensuring that students and others receive training in these areas. 

  • Publication, authorship and co-authorship

    • The researcher must respect the contributions of other researchers or students and must observe standards for authorship and cooperation. Individual areas of responsibility should be clarified as early as possible in the process and in consultation with all parties involved.
    • In accordance with the Vancouver Protocol (, three main criteria must be fulfilled to legitimately entitle co-authorship:
      • significant contribution to the idea and design or data collection, or data analysis and interpretation
      • preparation of the manuscript or significant portions of the manuscript or critical revision of the intellectual content
      • approval of the article to be published
      • agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
    • Researchers employed at two institutions are responsible for ensuring that both institutions are correctly accredited; see the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions' Recommended Guidelines ( for accrediting institutions in scientific publications.
    • The general rule is that results must be published in both academic and popularised form, though subject to the restrictions of confidentiality and duty of confidentiality. Nonetheless, no permanent restrictions may be agreed upon or laid down regarding the right to disclose research results beyond those that follow from or are pursuant to laws; see the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges, section 1-5 (6). When time-limited, exclusive right of use by the contracting party has been agreed, the researcher has the right and duty to ensure that the research findings be made public once the time limit expires.
    • A supervisor wishing to use the unpublished research results of a student/PhD candidate he/she is supervising in his or her own publications or research must obtain the consent of the student/PhD candidate. Likewise, a student/PhD candidate wishing to use the unpublished results of a supervisor must first obtain the supervisor's consent.
  • Contract research

  • Protection of research subjects

  • Protection of animals

    Animals have an inherent value and must be treated with respect. Staff and students must demonstrate due care and respect for animal welfare and must justify the necessity for experiments.

    Current legislation and guidelines for using experimental animals must be complied with (

  • Protection of the environment

    OsloMet's research activities must not harm the environment. Researchers must endeavour to ensure that their research contribute to protecting or creating a healthy environment in the short and long term. This includes taking into consideration biodiversity, ecosystem stability, and the impacts on landscapes and urban environments.

    It is normal practice to adhere to the precautionary principle when assessing the environmental impacts of research.

  • Global responsibility

    OsloMet has a responsibility to disseminate relevant knowledge to regions which would otherwise be excluded because of economic disparity. 

    OsloMet's research must contribute to counteracting global injustices and protecting biodiversity. 

    See General guidelines point 13. (

  • Sources

    It is important that ethical principles and guidelines be perceived as reasonable and to align with those of equivalent institutions. This document has therefore been based on the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges and on other codes of ethics: 

  • Relevant literature