Research council lays out tactics for addressing breaches of research integrity.
The European Research Council (ERC) has issued a strategy for identifying and addressing scientific misconduct — the first such policy on the European level. Under the strategy, released on 9 October, host institutions are responsible for detecting, investigating and adjudicating on suspected breaches of research integrity or misconduct by ERC-funded researchers or applicants for ERC grants. But the research council, based in Brussels, will also take action once institutions confirm cases of misconduct or questionable research practices: among other steps, it may notify the European Commission and the commission's anti-fraud office, hold a hearing, suspend or terminate grants or refuse further grant proposals. Since the ERC was launched in 2007, it has issued some 3,000 grants and handled between 10 and 20 allegations of misconduct, says ERC vice-president Pavel Exner. On 17 October, the InterAcademy Council in Amsterdam and the InterAcademy Panel in Trieste, Italy, released Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise: A Policy Report to promote research integrity.