Ethics and Legal Aspects of Scientific Research
2009-2010 - IMT6001 - 5 ECTS

Expected learning outcomes

Having completed the course, the student should have

  • developed an advanced understanding the ethical aspects underpinning academic research, particularly with respect to issues of academic integrity and different aspects of plagiarism including self-plagiarism as well as data fabrication and manipulation
  • developed an advanced understanding of legal aspects for academic research, with particular emphasis on privacy both at the national and international level
  • developed an understanding of legal and ethical issues as well as procedural knowledge required in experimental work and involving experimental data, particularly when handling human subjects
  • developed analytical skills allowing the review of research and research proposals to identify potential legal and ethical issues.


  • Concepts of academic integrity
  • Plagiarism and self-plagiarism
  • Research methods and requirements for data retention as well as reproducibility
  • Manipulation and fabrication of research data and results and safeguards against these
  • Ethical aspects of research, particularly affecting privacy
  • Design, review, and conduct of research involving human subjects

Teaching Methods


Teaching Methods (additional text)

  • Lectures
  • Seminar discussions

Form(s) of Assessment


Form(s) of Assessment (additional text)

Students must provide two papers. One is a term paper on a topic chosen by the student in coordination with the lecturer (see below), the other is a final report which at least two other areas beyond those covered by the student in the term paper must be described concisely.

  • Term paper: 67%
  • Final report: 33%
  • Both parts must be passed.

Grading Scale

Alphabetical Scale, A(best) – F (fail)

External/internal examiner

Evaluated by external examiner.

Re-sit examination

The whole subject must be repeated.

Examination support


Coursework Requirements

Students are required to prepare a term paper on one of the subject areas covered in the course in coordination with and approved by the lecturer and must provide a presentation of results and findings in a seminar. The delivery date for the term paper is arranged individually to match the seminar schedule.

Teaching Materials

Textbooks, monographs, and research articles including but not limited to:
D. Elliott, J. E. Stern:
Research Ethics: A Reader.
University Press of New England. Hanover, NH, USA (1997).
P. A. Griffiths (ed.):
On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research.
National Academy Press, Washington D.C., USA (1995).
N. R. Romm:
Accountability in Social Research.
Kluwer Academic Press. New York, NY, USA (2001)
J. M. Ziman:
An Introduction to Science Studies: The Philosophical and Social Aspects of Science and Technology.
Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, UK (1984)

Additional information

The course will be limited to 12 students except by arrangement with the lecturer.