Program NMBU Research Ethics forum


Meetings will take place in 'Innsikten' (University Library, Veterinary building) 5-6 times a year. Details below.

  • Tuesday 23. August 12:00 - 13:30 Questionable practice, sloppiness or misconduct? What is what, and why does it matter? with Vidar Enebakk
  • Tuesday 06. September 13:00 – 14.00 Help! They asked me for ethical approval of my research project, with Ingunn Andersen and Ingrid Nyborg
  • Tuesday 18 October 13:00 - 14:00 Ethical publishing in the age of open access, predatory journals, and career evaluation, with Curt Rice (followed by a 1 hour discussion seminar exclusively for PhDs and Postdocs, MINA400)
  • Tuesday 08. November 12.00 – 13.00 Co-authorship and PhD-supervision - some challenges and tips, with Rani Anjum (followed by a 1 hour discussion seminar exclusively for PhDs and Postdocs, MINA400)
  • Tuesday 06. December 12.00 – 13.00 Philosophical bias in science as sources of expert disagreement and barriers for interdisciplinarity, with Rani Anjum (Philosophy of Science) (followed by a 1 hour discussion seminar exclusively for PhDs and Postdocs, MINA400)

Send us tips on themes you would like us to include in the program to

What counts as scientific misconduct? Is research ethics a legal or moral matter? Where are the boundaries? Research should be carried out in accordance with national and international norms for  and research ethics guidelines. What are these, and where can I find more information about them? How does PhD-supervision with co-authorship differ from PhD-supervision without co-authorship? What to do when a project requires ethical approval before publication or when applying for funding? This forum is the place to learn more about research ethics and a safe space to share experiences and dilemmas that one encounters as researcher. Read more about the forum here.

Coming up next:

Tuesday 18 October, 13:00 - 14:00 (+ 1 hour for MINA400(mingling with cookies, tea and coffee the first 10 minutes)

How to think about ethical publishing in the age of open access, predatory journals, and career evaluation?

Why do we publish? How does publishing advance science? What does open access actually mean and how did it get started? Is the initial vision for open access publishing still relevant or has our focus changed? What are predatory journals and how can we distinguish them from journals that merely focus on making a profit at a level that would inspire the envy of any oil company CEO?

In this meeting, NMBU rector Curt Rice attempts to answer some of these questions, delving into some of the ethical issues related to scientific publication. He will outline some features of what might actually be an ethical system – something he sees as only vanishingly visible on the distant horizon at this point. He also discusses the academic protest against the business practices of Elsevier journals.


Open Access publishing (FEK 2016): Should articles in academic journals be openly available on the Internet free of charge? What dilemmas does this raise, and which interests are involved in the question of open access to research? Read more.

Identify trusted publishers for your research (Think. Check. Submit): Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications. Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals and publishers for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications. Read more.

Predatory publishing (COPE - Committee on Publication Ethics 2016): The COPE predatory publishing discussion document introduces issues, and analyses potential solutions, around predatory publications. COPE presents 30 insightful suggestions to tackle, avoid, and raise awareness of the problem of predatory journals. Read more.

Avoiding predatory publishers (COPE - Committee on Publication Ethics 2022): Deceptive or predatory journals charge authors but have no intention of providing the services or practices expected from a trustworthy publisher. As a result, potentially valuable research outputs are published, but cannot easily be found and are at risk of being lost. Authors that realise they have been tricked into submitting their work to a predatory publisher may then face a large retraction fee if they want to withdraw their article. These authors are likely to struggle to be able to publish their research in a more trustworthy journal that will not publish work that has already been published. What's more, the presence of a predatory journal on their publication list could permanently damage their academic reputation. Read more.

Boycott of Elsevier Journals: Can New Ideas Reduce the Cost for Scientific Publications? (Enago Academy 2018): Recently, researchers in Germany, Peru, and Taiwan found themselves without access to many online scientific journals. Negotiations with Elsevier, a major scientific journal publisher in The Netherlands, have broken down and without contracts in place, scientists temporarily lost access to the thousands of journals produced by Elsevier. How did we get to this situation? Will other scientists also lose access to journals? How can this issue be resolved? Read more.

Resources in Norwegian

Open Access-publisering (FEK 2016): Bør vitenskapelige tidsskriftsartikler være åpent og fritt tilgjengelige på internett? Hvilke dilemmaer reises, og hvilke interesser berøres av spørsmålet om åpen tilgang til forskningen? Les mer her.

Open Access på norsk: Gratis til enhver pris? (Magasinet Forskningsetikk 2017): Norske myndigheter er opptatt av at vitenskapelige artikler skal være gratis å lese. De bør være mer opptatt av hva som sikrer god forskning, mener kritikere. Les mer her.

Røvertidsskrifter truer vitenskapens legitimitet (Magasinet Forskningsetikk 2017): Bibliotekarer slåss i kommentarfeltene og twitrer under hashtagg academicmafia, penger trumfer kvalitet, og seriøse tidsskrifter firer på kravene. Er vitenskapelig publisering på vei utfor stupet? Les mer her.

Undersak om røvertidsskrift: – Etterlyser fagspesifikke svartelister (Magasinet Forskningsetikk 2017): Bioetiker Stefan Eriksson mener alle fag må ta ansvar for å lage svartelister over dårlige tidsskrifter innen sitt felt. Les mer her.

Ti tips for å unngå røvertidsskriftene ( og FEK 2018): 700 norske forskere har publisert i fem av de mest fremtredende "pseudo-vitenskapelige plattformene", ifølge et internasjonalt graveprosjekt som Aftenposten har tatt del i. Her er ti tips til hvordan forskere kan unngå å publisere hos de såkalte røvertidsskriftene. Les mer her

Forskere boikotter tidsskriftgigant (Hanne Jaboksen 2012): Over 2500 forskere boikotter Elsevier, et av verdens største forlag for vitenskapelige tidsskrifter. De mener forlaget støtter lovforslag som vil hindre vitenskapelig samarbeid. Les mer her.

Profittjegere vanner ut norsk forskning (Jonas Nøland og Olav Fosso Verdens største Open Access-forlag øker stadig sin markedsandel i forskningslitteraturen. Forskningsartikler som utgis hos publiseringsgiganten MDPI («Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute») er ikke bare åpne for folket, de markedsføres også som eksklusive. Deres enorme vekst de siste årene kan nesten alene forklares av forlagets aggressive fokus på spesialutgivelser, eller såkalte «special issues». Les mer her.

Stryker et av verdens største fra listen over godkjente tidsskrifter (Jonas Kristiansen Nøland og Olav Bjarne Fosso Siden starten av 2021 har de publisert 200 artikler med norske forfattere. Nå strykes Sustainability etter bekymringsmeldinger fra norske forskere. Les mer her.

Previous meetings:

Tuesday 23. August 2022

Questionable practice, sloppiness or misconduct? What is what, and why does it matter in research ethics?

Local and national commissions (granskingsutvalg) are responsible for carrying out investigations of possible scientific misconduct in research institutions. But what exactly falls under that category? It possible that poor execution of research is mistaken for misconduct? In this meeting we discuss some important distinctions within research ethics and ask whether it is always clear what is what. To join us, we have invited Vidar Enebakk, Director of the National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (NESH).

"A distinction can be drawn between fraud or cheating on the one hand and negligence, blunders or plain errors on the other, or between questionable research and plain sloppiness or poor execution (Kalleberg 2003). Another way of expressing largely the same idea, and more in line with internationally recognised or used concepts, is to distinguish between serious breaches of good research practice (misconduct) and less serious breaches. The term 'Questionable Research Practices' or unintended research practices refers to dubious, blameworthy or controversial research practices. Here we cannot speak of clear lines of distinction, but of considerable grey areas. In addition to these, there are accidental errors and similar that will tend to be excluded from the definition."

"Questionable research practices may include omission of data, failure to store data, omission of contradictory or negative observations, use of the same data or results in two or more publications without declaring this, splitting of continuous scientific articles into small parts (so-called 'salami slicing') inclusion of numerous authors in publications to which not all of them have made a de facto contribution etc. A number of these questionable practices may be associated with increasing pressure/competition. In this context, reference is often made to so-called 'rotten incentives' which may have the effect of promoting unethical or questionable research practices. It has also been noted that questionable research practices may lead to more serious breaches of good research practice..."

Source: 'Scientific misconduct: fraud and plagiarism', by Torkild Vinther 2016, (EN) (NO)


Tuesday 6 September, 13:00 - 14:00

Help! They asked me for ethical approval of my research project

What is an ethical approval? Who should approve a project? What should it contain? How can we make better procedures for ethical approval at NMBU?

In this meeting, we will discuss an issue that researchers face to an increasing degree when submitting a project proposal or submitting their results to journals. Whether one is a new or experienced researcher, the request for ethical approval is one that many have questions about how to address and what is the best procedure. With us, we got Ingunn Andersen, Senior Advisor for Research at LandSam, and Ingrid Nyborg, an experienced researcher and PI of a large EU project, who will share their experience with the ethical approval process.


Ethics in ERC projects (NFR webinar): This webinar highlights research ethics treatment in the ERC Executive Agency, as well as experiences made by an ethics evaluator and an ERC grantee. More here.

Ethical considerations in research. Types & examples (Scribbr): There are several ethical issues you should always pay attention to in your research design, and these issues can overlap with each other. Read more.

Applying for ethical approval (Cambridge university): The information requested by your local committee will depend on your discipline and the type of research that you intend to undertake. There are, however, some core issues that ethics committees will normally expect you to have addressed as part of your application. Read more

How to complete your ethics self-assessment (EU grants, European Commission): The guidance will help you identify and deal with ethics issues that may arise from your project and provide help with filling out your application. This document is however no more than a ‘how to’ guide. It covers most of the ethics issues that usually arise in EU projects and gives advice on dealing with classic cases. Download pdf here.



Published 22. August 2022 - 13:12 - Updated 27. September 2022 - 10:19