Faculty of Medicine

Scientific Integrity

Scientific integrity and ethics are central aspects in promoting scientific progress and the reputation of research in society. Important elements to ensure the integrity and credibility of research are honesty, transparency and reliability as well as a commitment to evidence-based research and ensuring the reproducibility of research results. Furthermore, legal (Good Clinical Practice, Human Research Act) and regulatory requirements must be adhered to. Potential conflicts of interest must be declared and avoided. The Faculty of Medicine follows the guidelines of the University of Bern, the university hospitals, and higher-level national institutions such as the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. In addition, the Faculty of Medicine has anchored the topic of "Scientific Integrity" in its Strategy 2030 as an important functional strategy.

"Scientific integrity" is good scientific practice: The attitude and self-commitment of researchers to adhere to the rules of good scientific practice, to be guided by ethical/moral values, and to conduct research responsibly. This applies to the entire area of research, from proposal to project completion, from the methodology to the way in which research colleagues are to be treated.

Science itself must behave with integrity so that discourse between society and science is possible. Society loses faith in science when deceptions, plagiarism scandals, or undeclared conflicts of interest disrupt the relationship. Science is part of society and therefore, accountable to it. Science is financed by our society.

Examples of scientific misconduct are:

  • Violation of the duty of discretion
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Copying of data for purposes unrelated to the project
  • Fabrication of research results
  • Falsification of data
  • Exclusion of data and findings without a declaration
  • Plagiarism (copying without citation)
  • Knowingly failing to mention collaborators who have made significant contributions
  • Claiming authorship without having made a significant contribution
  • Knowingly concealing conflicts of interest
  • Deliberate misquotation

Inquiries can be submitted by e-mail or letter to the Integrity Officers of the University of Bern:

Prof. em. Dr. Isabel Roditi and Prof. em. Dr. André Holenstein
University of Bern Integrity Officers
c/o Generalsekretariat
Hochschulstrasse 6
3012 Bern
Email: integritaet@unibe.ch

Please see the University of Bern webpage for more information.

For the Faculty of Medicine, questions and comments can also be addressed to Prof. Dr. phil. Rouven Porz:

Prof. Dr. phil. Rouven Porz
Leiter Medizinethik und ärztliche Weiterbildung, Direktion Medizin
Insel Gruppe AG; Inselspital, Universitätsspital Bern
Freiburgstrasse 44A, Haus 1, Zimmer 204
3010 Bern
Phone: +41 31 632 19 56
Email: rouven.porz@insel.ch

Please see the Insel Gruppe webpage for more information (in German).

Recording of a presentation by Prof. Dr. phil. Rouven Porz: Watch the video (in German)