The Research Ombudsman is a contact point for the implementation of good scientific practice. The principles of good scientific practice are described in the ZMT Guideline for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice. The ZMT Ombudsman is elected as a person of trust by the scientific staff. In case of discrepancies, suspicious facts and disputes regarding good scientific practice, the ombudsperson can be contacted as a neutral and qualified contact person.
In practice, conflicts of authorship, suspicion of data manipulation or disagreements in the supervision of young scientists might be typical examples. If desired, the inquiries are treated confidentially, and the task of mediation prevails. However, after consultation with a whistleblower a committee of inquiry can be convened, or superiors informed, and concrete sanctions proposed.
The allegations of scientific misconduct will be examined according to the Guideline for Good Scientific Practice at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research. The framework for the formulation and application of the ombudsman procedure is set by the Guideline for Good Scientific Practice in the Leibniz Association based on the Code of Conduct of the German Research Foundation Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice, to which the ZMT has made a legally binding commitment. If, during such an investigation procedure, it turns out that at the level of the ZMT a final clarification of the allegations is not possible, the ZMT ombudsperson will forward the case to the central Leibniz Ombuds Committee.