Code of Ethics for Researchers of the Czech Academy of Sciences

 Code of Ethics for Researchers of the Czech Academy of Sciences

The following documents were used to formulate this Code of Ethics for Researchers of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic:

  • Research Ethics Framework, resolution of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 1005, dated 17 August 2005;
  • The European Charter for Researchers, 2005/251/ES, Official EU Bulletin dated 22 March 2005;
  • Good Manners in Science; A Set of Principles and Guidelines, Polish Academy of Sciences, Committee for Ethics in Science, Third (amended) edition, Warsaw 2001;
  • Rules of Good Scientific Practice, adopted by the Senate of the Max Planck Society on 24 November 2000;
  • Memorandum on Scientific Integrity, All European Academies, Amsterdam, 2003 ('On standards for scientific research and a National Committee for Scientific Integrity, adopted by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Association of Universities in The Netherlands (VSNU), 2001)
  • Singapore Statement on Research Integrity, 2010;
  • The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, 2011;
  • Montreal Statement on Research Integrity in Cross-Boundary Research Collaborations, 2013.

"Pursuing knowledge, is, indeed, an all-encompassing endeavour, in fact, an exceedingly active life. If talking about 'science', you are speaking, at the same time, about pains, patience, tenacity, perseverance, sacrifice, honesty - all these are components not only of an active life, but of the moral life as well."
- President Masaryk's view of knowledge and science (from the book "Talks with T. G. Masaryk" by Karel Čapek).

Education, research and innovation are basic pillars of the development of contemporary society. The trust in research rests on the trust in the integrity of researchers and the reliability of results of their scientific work. The outcome and interpretation of their research can be verified by the scientific community, but cannot be verified by the public for which the new knowledge is intended. Therefore, if science is to remain trustworthy, researchers must observe basic moral principles in their work, and must be people of integrity and honesty. The Code of Ethics for CAS researchers (Articles I - V) includes framework principles of good conduct in science, seeking to support desirable moral standards in academic research.


I. General principles

A researcher:

  1. abides by deep-seated human moral principles and by principles spelled out in this Code;
  2. will not allow a conflict of interest to arise as a result of his/her position and related activities at an institution of the CAS and his/her private activities;
  3. will conduct his/her research with full working and personal commitment. The total of his/her contractual workload should not exceed his/her normal workload more than 1.5 times;
  4. requires of his/her colleagues conduct conducive to these principles;
  5. does not defend, conceal or justify conduct that contravenes the principles set forth in this Code, not even on the basis of necessary obedience and loyalty;
  6. considers science and research as an integral part of culture and the source of innovation and defends them against being questioned;
  7. stands resolutely against the non-ethical and inappropriate use of scientific knowledge;
  8. expands and intensifies his/her scientific knowledge and strives to improve personal professional competency;
  9. maintains a critical attitude toward his/her own scientific findings and results as well as to results of colleagues and is open to discussion and factual arguments;
  10. defends the freedom of scientific thought, expression, exchanges of opinion and information;
  11. refuses to use non-scientific approaches and expressions of racial, religious, nationalist and political opinions in science;
  12. observe the principles of neutrality and independence of ideological and political pressures and of the interests of pressure groups;
  13. recognizes and intentionally disseminates the principles of reliable, trustworthy scientific practice in the scientific community and refuses all scientific dishonesty and infringement of the principles specified in this Code
  14. does not hesitate to notify the relevant authorities of violations of ethics in scientific-research work, if aware of them.


II. Principles of Scientific Work

A researcher:

  1. seeks to expand the frontiers of scientific knowledge and makes every effort to ensure that his/her practically usable research results serve society;
  2. carries out research in such a way that society, the environment and cultural values are not threatened;
  3. observes principles of scientific work (Art. 1) when obtaining, selecting and assessing scientific data, and at the same time takes into account the specificity of his/her discipline;
  4. accounts for the precision and objectivity of his/her research and recognizes the limits of research methods used;
  5. is responsible for the completeness and verifiability of the results published on a certain problem and for their undistorted interpretation;
  6. preserves primary data and documentation of all substantial published results for an allotted time in the respective discipline of science unless other obligations or rules preclude this;
  7. holds him/herself accountable for the purposeful and efficient use of research funds and does not duplicate research previously carried out elsewhere if it is not needed for the verification, supplementation or comparison of the results obtained;
  8. presents the results of his/her research which are not subject to confidentiality to the scientific public and acquaints the general public with them only after the results have been published in the scholarly press.


III. Principles for Publicizing Scientific Knowledge and Results

A researcher:

  1. can be listed as the author or co-author of a scientific paper if contributing in any substantial way to its origin, e.g., to the design of the studies and experiments and their realisation, to analysing, interpreting, working out or modelling the data or drawing up the article, on the condition co-authorship is agreed to;
  2. acknowledges, in the article, the scientific contributions of predecessors and colleagues to the question studied to which the article is linked directly, and when citing findings and results obtained by other authors a clear reference is made to the respective source;
  3. cites also important works which are contrary to his/her own results and conclusions;
  4. will publish errata or take other appropriate steps if he/she later finds any substantial error in his/her published data;
  5. avoids partitioning acquired results and knowledge intentionally to publish them in multiple journals thereby increasing the number of his/her scientific papers;
  6. does not publish in an ethically questionable way and does not take advantage of ethically dubious publication platforms;
  7. publishes with the aim to pass on the results and knowledge to the professional public, not only for the purpose of demonstrating works as scientific outputs.


IV. Principles Regulating Relations with Students and Co-workers

A researcher:

  1. admits students and research co-workers after objectively evaluating their intellectual, ethical and personal characteristics;
  2. pays heed to correctness and openness in the mutual communication when leading a research team, and avoids an unjustified autocratic style of leadership;
  3. assesses students and colleagues according to the results achieved and treats them equitably, not requiring from them work which is his/her responsibility, or that beyond the student's capabilities;
  4. conveys knowledge, skills and principles of good conduct in science by word and personal example, to his/her students and colleagues;
  5. is devoted to teaching his/her students and guides them to develop their independent, critical thinking and a responsible approach to work and respects their right to freely express their opinions about research;
  6. supports the enhancement of the qualifications of students and subordinate researchers and their scientific and publication activities and international contacts and lists them among the authors of a manuscript if they have made a creative and substantial contribution to it;
  7. deduces consequences from a possible scientific misconduct of his/her colleagues.


V. Principles for the Assessment, Evaluation, Opponent and Expert Activities

A researcher:

  1. performs alone assessment or other evaluation work assigned;
  2. protects intellectual property rights of the authors of evaluated manuscripts, designs of projects and communications, being careful only to work out an expert review and not use the data contained in evaluated materials for personal advantage or provide them to a third person;
  3. does not intentionally prolong the assessment of an evaluated work so as to achieve personal advantage or for the benefit of a third person;
  4. refuses to prepare an expert opinion, the conclusions of which could be influenced by his/her personal interest, or reveals this fact in advance; avoids any other potential conflicts of interest;
  5. prepares expert opinions responsibly and only from his/her specialty area, resisting any potential external pressures which could influence this opinion;
  6. observes objective criteria in evaluating and opponent procedures, adheres to the contractor's rules and requires the same adherence from the other participants of the procedure.


VI. Specification for Institutes of the CAS

(each Academy Institute will supplement specifications pertaining to its discipline)


VII. Method of Resolving Cases of the Violations of the Fundamentals of Proper Conduct in Scientific-Research Work

The following are considered to be conduct incompatible with the fundamentals of ethical conduct in science: fraud, forgery, plagiarism, falsification, distortion, deliberate deception and theft, namely in any phase of the process of scientific-research work from the plan to the publication of the results.

Possible violations of the fundamentals of proper conduct in science shall be resolved:

  1. at an Institute of the CAS at an organisational level always one level higher than that in which a dispute arose. It is possible to establish ad hoc commissions at the respective level to resolve such a dispute;
  2. by the Committee for Scientific Integrity of the CAS if the resolution of a dispute exceeds the competence of the Institute of the CAS or if parties to the dispute do not agree with the conclusions adopted by the Institute;
  3. in cooperation with all parties involved, the highest possible protection of privacy is observed. A report on the resolution of the dispute must be circulated to all participants and must include measures leading to rectifying the problem if the violation of the ethics of scientific conduct was involved. In justifiable cases, the provision of Article 65 of the Statutes of the CAS, or the respective regulation of the labour code may be employed.