In Finland, it is the responsibility of each university to maintain a culture of responsible conduct of research and knowledge production. On the one hand, it is important internally to preserve and uphold guidelines, processes and practices for managing our research. On the other hand, it is important externally, in relation to the rest of the society, to communicate the trustworthyness of the research we do.
At Åbo Akadeami University, we have two processes for supporting credible and ethical conduct of research.
The first process concerns preventive measures, in which every individual researcher, project manager, research leader and head of subject carries his or her responsibility for research ethics. The Research Integrity Advisers and the Board for Research Ethics at Åbo Akademi University (FEN) act as support, including the main tasks:
- to pre-examine and give statements on ethical dimensions of specific research issues,
- to increase the awareness of ethical aspects on research at ÅAU,
- when needed, to give recommendations regarding research ethics.
In addition to the Board, there is a separate committee for research ethics within the fields of psychology and logopedics. The main task of the committee is to give statements on less complicated routine matters, for example when the practice of scientific journals so requires.
The second process involves dealing with allegations or misconduct. It can be a matter of dishonesty or neglection of responsible conduct of research. These cases are handled in cooperation with the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK).
As every university in Finland, Åbo Akademi University has undertaken to follow TENK’s guidelines for responsible conduct of research.
The following persons are the members of the Board for Research Ethics at Åbo Akademi University:
- Mikael Lindfelt (chair), professor, Systematic Theology
- Olli Lagerspetz, assistant professor, Philosophy
- Jessica Rosenholm, professor, Pharmacy
- Eva Österbacka, professor, Economics
- Fritjof Sahlström, professor, Education
- Stefan Willför, professor, Renewable Materials Chemistry
- Anne-Leena Gröning (secretary)
- and the ÅAU lawyer as legal advisor