Scientific Integrity and Good Scientific Practice
Learning from mistakes -
An innovate concept to promote Good Scientific Practice (GSP)
The Borstel Model of Good Scientific Practice represents an innovative concept for the integration of quality management into the daily work of scientific research. The aim is to create a working and communication culture in which every employee involved in the research process has an understanding of Good Scientific Practice (GSP) and has the competence to openly address conflicts arising in everyday working life, develop solutions in a team and introduce measures for improvement. The Borstel model consists of 3 complementary moduls:
1. A workshop program for all scientifically active employees
The workshops were attended by all research groups and served to convey basic principles of GSP, interaction psychology, and communication theory. In practical work units, a bottom-up process was used in the research groups to survey, analyze and evaluate the work and team situation and to identify and define measures for improvement.
2. Creation of infrastructures to promote Good Scientific Practice
Installation of a Good Scientific Practice coordination office, introduction of a Research Center Borstel laboratory notebook, Good Scientific Practice toolbox in the intranet, brochure for new employees, training materials.
3. The implementation of Good Scientific Practice measures in the daily work routine
Contact person for Good Scientific Practice: “scientific integrity scouts” in each research group. These are employees who have agreed to take up and address Good Scientific Practice topics in their research group, to give regular impulses in order to anchor Good Scientific Practice in everyday working and to familiarize new staff members with the culture of Good Scientific Practice. The scientific integrity scouts are instrumental in creating a vivid culture of Good Scientific Practice at the Research Center Borstel.
This concept of a sustained promotion of Good Scientific Practice was supported by the Leibniz association as a pilot project in order to improve the conditions for the prevention of scientific misbehavior and the support of scientific integrity.
The German Research Foundation (DFG) cites "The Borstel Model" as a best practice example for implementing the "Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice" (KODEX) on their website scientific integrity. This model can serve as a blueprint for other institutions and universities to establish similar approaches
Publication on the development, but also on the challenges in establishing the scout system at FZB: Mission impossible? A cultural change to support scientific integrity, EMBO Reports.
The brochure “Gute wissenschaftliche Praxis – das Borsteler Modell” (German) with detailed information on the concept and the Good Scientific Practice-Workshops is available for download here.