“Swedish research must be recognised as reliable. Every researcher must therefore comply with good research practice, and allegations or suspicions of misconduct must be investigated in a legally secure, transparent and clear manner.”Npof:s vision
The Board’s remit
The Swedish National Board for Assessment of Research Misconduct (Npof) was established on 1 January 2020 as a central government agency subordinate to the Ministry of Education and Research. Our remit is to investigate whether, under the Swedish Act (2019:504) on responsibility for good research practice and the examination of research misconduct, any such misconduct has taken place.
The Board and the Act came into being to promote continued high confidence in Swedish research. The legislators decided to appoint a central government agency, rather than the actual entities responsible for research, to perform the investigation and assessment. In doing so, the legislators’ intention was to enhance legal security for the researchers complained against; to safeguard equal treatment; and to reduce the risks of conflicts of interest that might exist when the entities responsible for research investigated their own employees. The Act also enabled researchers found guilty of misconduct to appeal against these decisions, which had not previously been possible.
The Board investigates only what is defined as “research misconduct”. Other breaches of good research practice are investigated by the actual entitles responsible for research (see, for example, Chapter 1, Section 17 of the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance, 1993:100).
The Board, the body that manages the agency, comprises a Chair and nine members appointed by the Government for four years at a time. The Chair and the other members have research expertise in a range of areas, and experience of work on issues relating to good research practice.
- Thomas Bull (Chair), Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court and former Professor, Uppsala University
- Peter Allebeck, Professor, Karolinska Institute
- Toni Arndt, Professor, Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences
- Åke Arvidsson, Professor, Kristianstad University
- Margaretha Fahlgren, Senior Professor, Uppsala University
- Eva Forssell Aronsson, Professor, University of Gothenburg
- Björn Petersson, Associate Professor (Docent), Lund University
- Karin Sporre, Professor, Umeå University
- Susanne Tornhamre, Associate Professor (Docent), Karlstad University
- Cynthia de Wit, Professor, Stockholm University
The Swedish Government has appointed Catarina Barketorp, Chief Judge at Uppsala District Court, as a deputy for the Chair. The Government may also appoint other deputies to stand in for the regular Chair.
The Board meets once a month, except during the summer months. Meeting dates in 2023 are 23 January, 13 February, 17 March, 21 April, 22 May, 16 June, 1 September, 20 September, 13 October, 16-17 November och 11 December.
To assist it, Npof has an Office that manages its case investigations and is responsible for day-to-day activities. The Office comprises a head, an administrator and caseworkers with a research background, and has its premises in Uppsala. The Swedish Ethical Review Authority is the host agency for Npof.
Link to the Swedish Act (2019:504) on responsibility for good research practice and the examination of research misconduct, on the Riksdag’s website
Link to Swedish Government Bill 2018/19:58, on the Riksdag’s website
Link to the Swedish Ordinance (2019:1152) with directives for the National Board for Assessment of Research Misconduct (Npof)