Research Ethics at the WZB

Research Ethics as a part of Good Scientific Practice

WZB researchers plan and conduct their research projects and publish their results following the Guidelines for Good Scientific Practice in the Leibniz Association and the DFG Code of Conduct - Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice. The fundamental principles of good scientific practice are closely connected to scientific integrity.

The WZB has established a number of procedures to assist WZB scientists in integrating the principles of good scientific practice into their work. One of these procedures is the ethical review of new research projects by the Research Ethics Committee. Especially in empirical research with participants, research ethics standards become relevant.

The Research Ethics Committee

Since 2016, the WZB has had a Research Ethics Policy and an internal Research Ethics Committee which meets monthly to review research projects prior to their implementation. Scientists who have their research reviewed for ethical implications receive a vote from the committee. Being able to provide such a vote is an increasingly relevant international standard in the empirical social sciences and is often required by funding agencies and publication bodies.

The WZB’s Research Ethics Committee consists of six members, four of whom conduct research in the various scientific disciplines at the WZB themselves. As a permanent member (ex officio), the internal data protection coordinator is also part of the commission. In addition, the committee includes an external member who is a social science researcher as well.