Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK)

Carrying out research in a responsible manner is at the core of university activities.

In Finland, we have the “TENK” – Tutkimuseettinen neuvottelukunta, Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (, which sets guidelines for responsible conduct of research (RCR) in Finland. The guidelines are openly available electronically and also in a printed book. The current guidelines,, were published on November 14, 2012 and are applied from March 1, 2013. All Finnish universities, including Aalto University, and some other organizations, such as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, have committed themselves to following these guidelines. All doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and other research-active persons at the university should familiarize themselves with these guidelines. 

One of the tasks of TENK is to “act as an expert body working towards the resolution of ethical issues relating to research” ( Internationally, three categories of research misconduct are typically considered: fabrication, falsification and plagiarism (FFP). According to the TENK guidelines (14.11.2012), in Finland, “misappropriation” is separated from plagiarism and is considered to be a distinct category.

TENK’s annual reports are openly available, There, among others, one can find descriptions of handling of allegations of RCR misconduct by TENK in that particular year. The descriptions are anonymized where the names of the persons and organizations concerned are not published. Full non-anonymized reports are available upon request. In the TENK 2018 annual report, for example, one can find descriptions categorized as “3.2. Verified RCR Violations at Research Organisations” and “3.3. RCR Statements Requested from and Issued by TENK”.

My view is that any doctoral student, postdocs and other research staff member should familiarize themselves with some of the with some of the recent cases of RCR misconducts.  The following table, directly copied from the TENK 2018 annual report, shows the summary of RCR processes in 2018 and previous years. One can find links to the annual reports on the TENK website; direct links to the three most recent annual reports also here: 2018, 2017, 2016.

Posted by Riikka Puurunen

About Riikka Puurunen

Associate professor, Catalysis Science and Technology, at Aalto since February 2017
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