LARI FAQ

We have provided some answers to frequently asked questions about LARI, our role, and our services.  Reach out to us if you have other questions or need clarification.

 

Is LARI a judicial organization or court?

LARI is not part of the Luxembourg civil, criminal, or administrative judicial system. LARI is a non-profit organization which performs independent inquiry and investigation in cases of suspected research misconduct according to the principles of Section 3 of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity .

What types of research misconduct cases does LARI investigate?

The remit of LARI is scientific misconduct (i.e., fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, failure to meet clear ethical and/or legal requirements) as well as violations of the rules of good scientific practice of the European Code of Conduct of Research Integrity. The alleged misconduct must have occurred within the past 10 years. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

Can you give some examples of unacceptable research practices that are within investigative scope for LARI?

The examples below are from the European Code of Conduct of Research Integrity:

  • Making up results and recording them as if they were real (fabrication).
  • Manipulating research materials, equipment or processes or changing, omitting or suppressing data or results without justification (falsification).
  • Using other people’s work and ideas without giving proper credit to the original source, thus violating the rights of the original author(s) to their intellectual outputs (plagiarism).
  • Manipulating authorship or denigrating the role of other researchers in publications.
  • Re-publishing substantive parts of one’s own earlier publications, including translations, without duly acknowledging or citing the original (‘self-plagiarism’).
  • Citing selectively to enhance own findings or to please editors, reviewers or colleagues.
  • Withholding research results.
  • Allowing funders/sponsors to jeopardise independence in the research process or reporting of results so as to introduce or promulgate bias.
  • Expanding unnecessarily the bibliography of a study.
  • Accusing a researcher of misconduct or other violations in a malicious way.
  • Misrepresenting research achievements.
  • Exaggerating the importance and practical applicability of findings.
  • Delaying or inappropriately hampering the work of other researchers.
  • Misusing seniority to encourage violations of research integrity.
  • Ignoring putative violations of research integrity by others or covering up inappropriate responses to misconduct or other violations by institutions.

What types of misconduct are out of scope for LARI investigation?

The remit of LARI excludes matters pertaining to workplace intimidation, bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment, inadequate leadership and mentoring, misuse of funds, accounting fraud, bribery and corruption. LARI acknowledges the seriousness of these matters; however, other organizations are best-suited for those investigations.

Does LARI replace the misconduct investigation activities that other organizations such as the Comité National d’Ethique de Recherche Luxembourg (CNER), the Commission nationale pour la protection des données (CNPD), or the Commission Consultative Nationale d’Ethique pour les sciences de la Vie et de la Santé (CNE)?

In general, LARI will not undertake actions that will conflict with the mandate of other organizations.

Who can report cases of suspected scientific misconduct to LARI?

Anyone from any member organization or any organization that receives Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR) funding can be a reporter. All reports must be made in good faith.  The best interest of the public (including human and animal research participants), not financial gain, attention or revenge, must be foundational to the decision to report suspected misconduct.

Are there legal protections for whistleblowers in Luxembourg?

While there is no formal definition of the term “whistleblowing” in Luxembourg law, the Law of February 13 2011 introduced specific provisions to the Labour Code designed to protect public and private sector employees who report alleged corruption or abuse of influence in their workplace.  Article L 271(1) of the Labour Code protects employees who make such reports in good faith, not permitting employment agreement reprisals or terminations due to whistleblowing.

Can reports of suspected misconduct be made anonymously? 

Yes, if it is determined that there are valid reasons for anonymity.

Are the members of the LARI investigative team (the Commission for Research Integrity, CRI) independent or do they work for the member institutions?

All investigative team members are independent; they are obliged to report any real or perceived conflicts of interest to the CRI Chair for analysis and potential recusal.  Investigative team members do not work for any of the member institutions or the organization(s) associated with the misconduct investigation. Further, no orders or directives shall be given to the CRI by the LARI Board, its member institutions, or the organization(s) associated with the misconduct investigation.

How long does a scientific misconduct investigation take?

The CRI will convene whenever needed to undertake their investigative work and aims to complete their work within 4 months.

Is there a fee for the misconduct investigation?

There is no fee if the case involves a member institution or if the research activity is funded by the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR).

Can LARI provide a workshop, seminar, or training session for our organization on the topic of research ethics or research integrity?

Please contact the LARI Secretary General with details of your request.

Can LARI provide general research ethics consultation on matters not related to misconduct?

Please contact the LARI Secretary General with details of your request.

Can my organization be added as a member of LARI?

Please contact the LARI Secretary General with details of your request.