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Academic Integrity

The Protestant Theological University (PThU) endorses the national arrangements on academic integrity. These arrangements have been published by the VSNU (society of cooperating Dutch universities) in De Nederlandse Gedragscode Wetenschapsbeoefening. Principes van goed wetenschappelijk onderwijs en onderzoek (vsnu.nl) (The Dutch Code of Conduct for Academic Practice. Principles of correct academic education and research).

The core values of these arrangements are: carefulness, reliability, honesty, impartiality, responsibility and respect. By endorsing the code of conduct, the PThU imposes on itself the obligation to develop policies to avoid violation of these core values, on which the code is based. This prevention policy focuses on the two most important groups of the academic community:

  • Students: bachelor students, master students and PhD students
  • Staff: all researchers and supporting staff

Regard for and observance of the values of integrity in academic practice are at the heart of the University’s conditions and pertain to everyone.

Students and academic integrity

Bachelor Education

At the start of the bachelor phase students will be informed of the nature of academic integrity in general and of respect for the intellectual property of others and the inappropriateness of plagiarism in particular. It is important in bachelor education to pay attention to integrity of academic practice time and again. Special attention is paid to intricate and sensitive practices and dilemmas concerning the formation of concepts and ideas, presentation of what has been learnt, how to deal with reporting research data, and the correct way to cite and quote.

Master Education

The master trajectories use an approach similar to, but more intensive than the bachelor education.

  • There is explicit attention for:
  • Plagiarism and dealing with intellectual property correctly
  • Data collection and data storage, surveys, etc.
  • Methodological matters, such as dealing with deviating measuring points, non-responses in inquiries, et cetera
  • Creating a culture of frankness, in which critical questions and following other researchers and testing each other’s work is encouraged.

Graduate School

Next to this, in the Graduate School PhD-students take general courses in academic integrity and disciplinary programmes in which examples from the discipline itself are dealt with.

Within the Graduate School a climate of active academic discussion and social control is promoted.

Staff and academic integrity

All PThU staff are bound by the Code of Conduct for Academic Practice. This contains definitions of violations, and the guidelines for dealing with suspicions.

Professors actively assume responsibility for an honest, open and critical research climate in the PThU, by pointing out the code and the rules to the research staff.

Regulations for the protection of academic integrity

The Executive Board of the PThU has decided to declare the regulations for the protection of academic integrity of Amsterdam VU University applicable to the PThU. These regulations provide for an Ombudsman Academic Integrity. The ombudsman is the first person to be accessed for questions, dilemmas with and (alleged) violations of academic integrity in education, research and social services within the PThU.

In principle contacts with the ombudsman are confidential. If he judges that there are grounds for a suspicion of violation of academic integrity, he may start an investigation. On account of such an investigation he may advise the Executive Board to take measures.

Ombudsman academic integrity

The Ombudsman academic integrity for the PThU is prof. dr. A.P. Hollander (e-mail: aphollander@fbw.vu.nl).

 Regulations

  • Regulations for the protection of academic integrity
  • Report on Academic Integrity. About standards of academic research and a National Body for Academic Integrity (LOWI)
  • The Dutch Code of Conduct for Academic Practice. Principles of correct academic education and research
  • European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity