Research integrity: Commission for Research Integrity


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There’s no clear-cut definition of research integrity, nor do we have a list of 'does and don’ts' that apply for all researchers, in all research circumstances. Some behaviour will always be acceptable or always be unacceptable, but quite often the values and norms need to be translated and adapted to each particular research situation. This makes research integrity an interesting area to reflect upon, but for some researchers it is very challenging that research integrity often is more about interpretation and appreciation – about making choices within the framework of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (ALLEA code). Research integrity is all about being able to reflect in a critical way on one’s own research behaviour and on the behaviour of others.

This means that it is not always easy to determine how best to respond to a given situation and whether, in fact, one's choice was the right one. The ALLEA code guides researchers in making the right choices but it is impossible to catch every possible situation in research in one code. This can cause questions about your own behaviour or that of others around you. In some cases you will witness situations where you know misconduct or even fraud is being committed.

To give clarification in case of questions, but also to deal with allegations of research misconduct, the Board of Governors at Ghent University established a Committee for Research Integrity (CRI – CWI in Dutch), already in 2010.


Advice on questions

Feel free to contact the secretary of the CRI - Rita Cortvrindt ( for all your case related questions. For more general questions or questions on initiatives taken at Ghent University with regards to research integrity, contact the Research Integrity Advisor - Stefanie Van der Burght (


A formal procedure for alleged violations

By following the procedure, an investigative committee of the CRI judges whether or not there has been a violation of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (ALLEA code) and/or of the guidelines applicable to the institution which are related to research integrity (publication policy, possible (faculty) authors' guidelines, charter for PhD students, etc.).

To view the full document of the “procedural code for inquiries into breaches of research integrity”, click here (code REG000095EN).

Anyone can report a suspected breach of research integrity to the secretary of the CRI:

Ghent University – Research Department
Commission for Research Integrity
t.a.v. Rita Cortvrindt (secretary)
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent


Composition of the Commission

For dealing with a complaint, besides chairperson, secretary and legal expert, at least 3 additional members will be appointed, taking into account their expertise.

Chairperson: Freddy Mortier
Secretary: Rita Cortvrindt – substitute Annik Leyman

Legal-academic expert: Maud Piers (RE) - substitute: Inge Govaere (RE)

Pool of members:

  • 4 ZAP-leden uit alfa faculteiten:

Gertrudis Van de Vijver (LW)
Jan De Houwer (PPW)
Geert Poels (EB)
Piet Bracke (PS)

  • 4 ZAP-leden uit bèta faculteiten:

Stijn Vansteelandt (WE)
Katleen Raes (BW)
Kris Verheyen (BW)
Hennie De Schepper (EA)

  • 4 ZAP -leden van gamma faculteiten:

Piet Ost (GE)
Guy Joos (GE) 
Ann Van Soom (DI)
Freddy Haesebrouck (DI)

  • external members 

Jan Cornelis (VUB)

Karen Francois (VUB)


The operation of CRI is regulated by internal Rules and Regulations (code REG000096EN).


A second opinion

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of a case handled by the university CRI, you have the possibility to ask for a second opinion from the Flemish Commission for Research Integrity (in Dutch VCWI).

Please note that this is not an appeal procedure. It is a second opinion that is equivalent to the opinion of the university CRI. The Rector of Ghent University takes both into account in the final decision on a case.

The Flemish Commission has two functions:
• advising on concrete cases which have already been dealt with in the research integrity commissions of Flemish universities
• advising on more general questions on this matter from scientific institutions in Flanders

Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten (KVAB)
Paleis der Academiën - Hertogsstraat 1 - 1000 Brussel - Bert Seghers
02 550 23 32

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Last modified March 14, 2023, 4:55 p.m.