It is important to note that the guidelines are aimed at reducing the possibility of dishonest behaviour. More specifically, it is not the purpose to develop a full set of guidelines for scientific publishing. Simula encourages discussions of questions regarding the quality assurance in all projects and departments, and Simula strongly encourages researchers to follow traditions established in their field of research.
- What is this document intended to cover, I see no mention of quality of research?
- This document is not aimed at quality of research; such aspects are described in other documents. (Simula Culture)
- How much extra time should be spent on this process of ensuring ethical standards
- About two hours per person per paper. The purpose of this document is to increase awareness of these topics, with minimal overhead.
- When should the agreement of adherence to the guidelines be signed?
- When the paper is submitted to a conference or journal for initial review.
- Who has to sign?
- All co-authors employed at Simula must sign. The author who registers the paper in the publication database may choose whether the same confirmation should be required by external authors.
- What happens if one is designated to verify the research as an outside party, yet does not have the ability to sufficiently cover all aspects?
- One can describe any reservation in an addendum to the agreement.
- What happens if one believes that the research does not adhere to the guidelines?
- Ask the corresponding author for clarification. If a dispute cannot be resolved in a reasonable fashion, contact the Managing Director of Simula.
- How do these guidelines apply if one is invited to collaborate on a paper with an external main-author?
- We cannot impose these rules on external parties; however, we can try to adhere to them in our part of the work. We are responsible for these aspects when we are co-authors as well. All papers submitted to the Simula web page after 01.01.2007 must adhere to these guidelines. Only papers on this web page will be considered in the evaluation of Simula.
- Are there any exceptions?
- Outside parties may have other practices covering authorship. For papers driven by external parties, and where Simula researchers are co-authors, others rules regarding authorship can be accepted.
- Who is my closest superior?
- Supervisor, Project Manager, Department Director, Managing Director.
- What if my closest superior is occupied, or not familiar with the research?
- Your superior can delegate the verification to an appropriate researcher.
- What is acceptable regarding simulations?
- At least two persons must ensure that the simulations are based on functioning software code, i.e., that data files containing results are not manipulated. Two persons must agree that the methods and parameters reported in the paper are in accordance with the actual simulations. Two persons must ensure that the description of the simulations in the paper is as accurate as possible. In particular, it is important to try to enable reproducibility.
- Should we demand that actual source code and/or datasets be made publicly available?
- These guidelines do not address this issue.
- How should data and source code be stored?
- At the present time, this is handled differently by the various departments and may continue to be so handled until further notice.
- What about failing to report findings that go against expectations or that are inconclusive?
- Such issues should be discussed by the authors. The purpose of these guidelines is merely to lessen the chances of fraudulent behaviour occurring; it is not our aim to present a full set of guidelines for scientific publishing.
- What is the appropriate level for getting informed consent?
- The basic criterion for getting informed consent from either companies or individuals is that the study deals with sensitive data.
- When do we need confidentiality agreements?
- One should offer an agreement preserving confidentiality to companies or individuals when informed consent is needed. This is left to the discretion of the researchers, and should follow department guidelines.
- Do we need a new agreement for each study, e.g. in a series of studies?
- Normally, a separate covenant for each study is not required. However, some individuals or organizations may ask for separate bespoke covenants.