Scientific Integrity

Scientific integrity refers to the basic ethical posture of scientists as well as their responsibility for the honesty and quality of their scientific activities. Scientific integrity is the basis for the Fraunhofer conception of itself as an organization for applied research. Taking great care with regard to scientific methodologies and the documentation of data is also the basis for the trust of our customers in business, our collaboration partners and of the general public. The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft espouses the Recommendations of the Commission on Professional Self Regulation in Science issued by the member institutions of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft or DFG) as well as the Recommendations on Academic Integrity of the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) and implements these recommendations within its organization.


Implementation at Fraunhofer

The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft has developed a policy on the realization of scientific integrity, "Fraunhofer Policy zur Umsetzung wissenschaftlicher Integrität". The policy's principles are anchored in the internal Fraunhofer code of conduct as well as in the "Principles of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Regarding Cooperation". Here the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, as a decentral organization, has established clear rules and procedures for its institutes and facilities. The directors at every Fraunhofer unit designate a scientifically experienced and qualified ombudsperson to handle the issue of good scientific practice and for collaboration in the conveyance of scientific integrity as well as for consultation in case of conflicts regarding good scientific practice.

Promotion of Open Access

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft follows the principle of Open Access when publishing research results in order to promote their accessibility and transparency. As early as 2003 Fraunhofer was one of the initial signatories of the "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities" regarding open access to scientific knowledge; Fraunhofer has had its own Open Access Policy since 2008. In the course of the continuing development of this Policy, in 2015 Fraunhofer became the first scientific organization in Germany to adopt an Open Access Strategy 2020 containing specific objectives and implementation measures. Its intent is to use targeted promotion to also make the associated research data accessible to the greatest extent possible.