This comes on the heels of news (Retraction Watch reports) about a Swedish researcher who has been dismissed from the Karolinska Institut on multiple charges of academic misconduct
Denmark is a bit further along in the same process. They have had quite a number of scandals, so the UVVU (the Danish organization that looks at accusations of academic misconduct) has already prepared their own suggestions. They have a page with a number of links, and a relative thorough collection of the current practices in seventeen countries:Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, USA. Unfortunately, the report appears to only be in Danish.
ScienceNordic has a nice overview of the the major scandals in Denmark and Sweden, including many links, in English.
The problems arise when lawyers are called into scientific disputes and judges decide what is and what is not good science. I think we need a sort of "Godwin's law" in science. If you involve a lawyer, you lose the argument. We need to focus more on peers discussing the science, although there do need to be sanctions for those found to have committed academic misconduct.
The Danish report lists the wide spectrum of possible sanctions found in the various countries (p. 20-21):
- Issuing a correction
- Supervision of future research
- Suspension from scientific work
- Disciplinary sanctions such as being put on probation for future academic work
- Rescinding of academic titles
- Rescinding of the right to advise PhD students
- Withdrawal of internal resources
- Repayment of research funding
- No permission to apply for research funding, usually for a set number of years.
Update: fixed Goodwin -> Godwin