Code of conduct for scientific integrity

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The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, of which the SAMS is a member, consider it their duty to promote ethical scientific behaviour in research and teaching, and to help to create conditions conducive to this goal. In 2021 – in partnership with swissuniversities, the Swiss National Science Foundation and Innosuisse – they published a Code of conduct for scientific integrity. This Code describes a common understanding of scientific integrity and defines the resultant responsibilities.

Since the publication by a SAMS-led working group of «Integrity in scientific research: Principles and procedures» (2008), the scientific environment has changed considerably. In particular, scientific practices have been affected by the increased accessibility of data and research findings due to open science, big data or social media. While these developments offer new opportunities and enhance transparency, they also call for greater awareness of the requirements of scientific integrity.


The Code is addressed to everyone in the Swiss higher education system involved in the generation, dissemination and advancement of knowledge, including both individual researchers and institutions and funding organisations. It is conceived as a dynamic document, providing binding basic standards which may be further elaborated and refined.


Unethical authorship practices

Unjustified claims of authorship in scientific publications are considered to be a form of scientific misconduct. It is not uncommon for discussions about authorship to arise with regard to publications based on work conducted by a research team rather than individuals. In 2013, the Scientific Integrity Committee of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences published guidance which summarises the fundamental principles and rules of authorship and offers recommendations designed to prevent inappropriate authorship claims and to help resolve possible conflicts.


The recommendations can be ordered free of charge in hard copy:




lic. phil. Valérie Clerc
Secretary General
Tel. +41 31 306 92 71