Ombudsman are elected as persons of trust by the scientific staff. The ombudsman is a contact point to implement good scientific practice. The underlying rules are formulated in the Leibniz Association Guidelines on Good Scientific Practice.
The framework of these guidelines has been set out in the memorandum "Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice" of the German Research Foundation (DFG). In the case of discrepancies, suspicions and disputes on good scientific practice, the ombudsman can be called as a neutral and qualified contact person. Examples are authorship conflicts, suspect of data manipulation or disagreements in the care of young scientists.
In such cases, the task of mediation predominates, but in agreement with the whistleblowers, supervisors could be informed or specific sanctions can be proposed. Ombudsman look at allegations of scientific misconduct on the basis of the above-mentioned regulations.
If, in the course of such an accusation, a final clarification of the allegations is not possible at the member institution level, the decentralised ombudsman forwards the process to the central ombudsman of the Leibniz Association.