Responsible conduct of research – good scientific practice


“Research is the quest for knowledge obtained through systematic study and thinking, observation and experimentation. While different disciplines may use different approaches, they share the motivation to
increase our understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live
.” (Please see the The Finnish Code of Conduct below)

The basic starting points for responsible research are values like truth, impartiality, honesty, objectivity, accuracy among other values. So how these values are reached and how do we maintain the society’s trust to research in the times of social media, fake news and artificial intelligence generated “results”?

Approved scientific principles and values must be followed when conducting research. If they are not followed, the researcher’s work loses its legitimacy.

The University of Vaasa is committed to The Finnish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity and Procedures for Handling Alleged Violations of Research Integrity in Finland 2023 formulated by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK), to assist researchers in their work. This document is a perfect way to get more educated on this matter!

The TENK website defines a researcher’s professional skills in the following way: “A researcher’s professionalism can be divided into the management of the knowledge and research methods required by each discipline and professional integrity, which together constitute good scientific practice. The entire scientific community is responsible for following good scientific practices.”

It is the scientific methods, peer-review processes, supervision and research education as well as many other processes that ensure the responsible and ethically approved research. It is at the end each researchers’ responsibility to take care of the ethical aspects of the research in each stage of the research process.

Having said that, researchers are not alone. We at the Research Services are here to help in any research ethics matters. If you just want to discuss on the research setting, involving the participants, gathering data or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact me at virpi.juppo(a) I’m also the Research Integrity Advisor in case of research integrity violations. All discussions are confidential.

One way to ensure the responsible research is the ethical review process. Ethical review is always done before the research and data gathering begins. University of Vaasa and its researchers have committed to the ethical review in human sciences. It is an advance scrutiny and evaluation of a research plan in the light of the ethical practices generally followed in that particular discipline of science, with special emphasis on preventing any harm that the research or its results might cause to the research subject.

Also the ethical guidelines for research involving human participants (including technical sciences) presents the following general principles: dignity and autonomy of human participant, respect of material and immaterial cultural heritage and biodiversity, research does not cause significant risk.

I also want to mention the Responsible research website which promotes reliable and collectively accepted practices of producing, publishing, and assessing research results. It supports the transparency, presence, and utilization of science in society.

So plenty of helpful guidelines, documents and webpages available. Here are some short videos for you:

Research ethics basics:

Why research needs ethics?

TENK: Responsible conduct of research (with captions):

TENK: Ethical review in the human sciences in Finland:

Read more from our internal processes from the intranet:

Head of Research Services, Virpi Juppo

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Research services

Research services - Research support blog

Various research services are offered by several different university service units for different phases of the project's life cycle. However, this blog is mostly written by research services staff who focus on pre-award services. We will ask writings from everyone who has something to contribute to the project's life cycle services. In this blog, we aim to collect various useful tips and tools for researchers. If you have story tips or wishes about topics, send an email to