Npof’s task is to investigate whether research misconduct has occurred. The outcome of the Board’s assessment is its decision on the matter.
- Npof reaches its decision by consensus. If the vote is not unanimous, there is a second ballot, and the proposal that gains a simple majority wins. Any member who does not support the decision can write a dissenting sentence, which is added to the decision.
- Npof does not decide on breaches of good research practice other than misconduct.
- Npof is not involved in ethical review of research or appeals regarding this type of review. Read more here about the agencies involved in ethical review issues.
We publish all misconduct decisions here. Statistics on our decisions and cases are also available.
- Npof makes no decisions on penalties or the like.
- The research principal concerned is the party that chooses which measures to take, pursuant to Npof’s decision. This applies both when Npof finds one or more researchers “innocent” and when it reaches a “guilty” decision. Such measures may relate not only to the specific researcher(s) but also to training inputs or altered routines for the entity responsible.
- The research principal must, within six months, report what measures have been implemented in response to a “guilty” decision by the Board. The same applies if Npof has found that the matter has involved plagiarism, falsification or fabrication and a serious breach of good research practice, but that the breach did not take place with intent or due to gross negligence.
In our Annual Report, we summarise the measures that the entities responsible for research have reported back to us. This is done anonymously.
The respondent (alleged offender), if found guilty, can appeal Npof´s decision. There has now been a change to allow such appeals, whereas the research principals used to investigate alleged research misconduct. Appeals are heard by the Administrative Court (Förvaltningsrätten) in Uppsala. This Court’s judgment may be appealed to the Administrative court of appeal (Kammarrätten) in Stockholm and the latter Court’s judgment, in turn, is appealed to Sweden’s Supreme Administrative Court (Högsta Förvaltningsdomstolen). Read more about this Court here.
The complainant is not a party to an Npof case. This has two implications:
- Complainants do not receive all the case documents and, unlike respondents, are not invited by us to express their views.
- Complainants cannot appeal Npof’s decision in response to more than eight rulings by the Administrative Court in Uppsala and two by the Court of Appeal in Stockholm.