Friday, July 15, 2011

The Twelve Commandments

The Law Faculty of the University of Hamburg has issued rules for dealing with scientific honesty. They are stated so clearly and explained well, that there is no room for doubt. Here is my attempt at translation:
  1. Without exception, the works, ideas and thoughts of others is to be shown the necessary respect by use of appropriate forms of textual layout.
  2. Every word-for-word use must be set between quotation marks.
  3. Even for paraphrase or summary instead of word-for-word use, appropriate denotation is to be given.
  4. In paraphrase or summary, care must be taken not to attribute to the authors something they did not state.
  5. Translations of texts in foreign languages are to be denoted with reference to the original source. If the translation is not word for word, it must be marked as such. If someone else's translation is used, this too is to be noted.
  6. General knowledge need not be cited.
  7. Self-plagiarism is not scientific misconduct per se, but every effort should be taken to give the source and note the extent of the use.
  8. It is a clear case of scientific misconduct to use a ghostwriter. This is also the case, even if you have permission to use the text.
  9. Authorship is not just a right, but also carries a responsibility. Substantial portions of work denote authorship. On the other hand, no one can claim authorship who has not done a substantial part of the work. Honorary authorship, hierarchical authorship, leadership authorship or authorship on the basis of obtaining resources are clear cases of scientific misconduct.
  10. The assessment of dissertations will be done by the mentors will take these rules into consideration and will make sure that they are followed.
  11. The assessments of dissertations must state whether and how it was made sure that these rules were followed. 
  12. It is obligatory to determine if the texts delivered for assessment follow the rules. The assessors must note what measures they have taken to ensure this.
 Any questions?  

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