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How to write a statement

Why is Npof asking for my statement?

The Board’s investigation is based on written sources because it is an administrative law process. The account you write informs us of what you yourself know and can tell us about what has happened. The statement from you, the respondent (alleged offender), is therefore crucially important to our investigation. We need to understand your view of what took place and your role and involvement in the part of the research that is being investigated, and see the documents you can send us to support what you say. No one else can give us this information.

Respondents are sometimes under the impression that other people provide us with information about the respondents expertise, academic speciality and role in, as well as responsibility for, the research reported. Respondents may, for example, think it is clearly evident that they were in no way involved in the research concerned, despite being named as authors. They then believe it is obvious that they should not be subject to Npof´s inquiry and other activities, and that there is no need for them, the alleged offenders, to tell us what has happened. It is therefore vital to understand that, unlike (for example) criminal investigations by the police, when they conduct interviews and perform on-site examinations, this is not how an administrative law process works.

What should I put in my statement?

When you write your statement, it is important to understand how the case investigation is conducted and the significance of your statement.

To write a good statement, we suggest you prepare before you start writing, think about what you need to highlight, and then perform the task in a structured way:

Read the allegations and make sure you understand what they are all about.
Find out the definition of “research misconduct” and the criteria that must be met for something to be regarded as misconduct.
Give your views on the allegation(s) of fabrication, falsification and/or plagiarism respectively. Is what has been reported factually correct or not? How would you describe what happened?
What factual evidence is there that makes the truth of the matter clear? Is there any point you can raise, or anything you can attach to your statement, to prove what actually happened?
What does “research misconduct” mean?

Points to remember:

What other documentation can be included in the investigation?

The case documentation includes material sent in by the complainant (the person reporting the allegation), or by the research principal when it submitted the case to us. You, as the respondent, receive these documents when we ask you to express your views.

In the course of the investigation, Npof can also request access to documents, data material, work tools, email correspondence and other evidence from the entity responsible for the research, for example. As a respondent, you are also given access to all the documentation and evidence included in the investigation, and can express your views on it all. If you find that you lack access to any relevant evidence that would be of value to the investigation, you can suggest that Npof requests it.