280.589 Focus: Law concerning - Basics of good scientific practice
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2021S, VO, 1.0h, 2.0EC, to be held in blocked form


  • Semester hours: 1.0
  • Credits: 2.0
  • Type: VO Lecture
  • Format: Online

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to...

  • know the legal framework for examinations and written work (especially university law, statutes of TU Vienna, also copyright law).
  • know the basic practical guidelines and quality standards of science and especially those of the discipline they study.
  • to act in accordance with the basic practical guidelines and quality standards of science and especially with those of the discipline they study.
  • to recognise and classify scientific misconduct correctly.
  • use software solutions for quality assurance and interpret (especially: plagiarism detection) software reports correctly.

Subject of course

Where does "good scientific practice" (GSP) come from, and why is it so important to safeguard it not only for all university staff but also for all students? How does "good scientific practice" (GSP) relate to "academic integrity" and "research ethics"? – The lecture gives an overview...

  • of the basic rules of good scientific practice (such as ethically correct [indication of] authorship, citation rules, quality criteria for empirical work,, retention and documentation requirements, etc.)
  • as well as of the various forms of scientific misconduct (such as plagiarism, contract cheating ("ghostwriting"), ghostcoding, messenger service cheating, exam with wrong identity, unethical authorship, assignment outsourcing, collusion, data manipulation, data fabrication, sabotage, doctoral placement, false statements in CVs, title fraud, false reputation damage, and others
  • and the grey areas (the so-called Questionable Research Practices/QRPs such as p-Hacking or HARKing).
  • The lecture also gives an overview of of the various forms of quality assurance of scientific work (such as courses oder course modules on GSP, legal governance, GSP guidelines, chartas, codes of conduct, written affirmations – affidavits or declarations on oath, signed form sheets, separation of supervision and evaluation, plagiarism software checks, use of stylometric software, evaluations, double blind peer review, open commentaries, Science Watch blogs and platforms, whistleblowers, open data, open access, ethics committees, good laboratory practice – GLP, ombudspersons for good scientific practice, institutions such as the Austrian Academy of Sciences, etc.)
  • A focus is also on the possibilities for plagiarism software self-testing for students (for example with Scribbr or PlagScan).


The topics securing good scientific practice, scientific misconduct and the grey area of QRPs should at least be illuminated...

  •     historically,
  •     legally, and
  •     ethically.

We will also ask ourselves how citation cartels, rope teams, bullying, job corruption and career obstruction could be classified.

Current discussions on academic hoaxes, fake science, predatory journals or replication crisis will enrich the lecture. Furthermore, each semester we will discuss a current example of scientific misconduct in the context of a short assessment.  On both days, additional interactive elements such as live votings and multimedia components such as online courses, short films and podcasts will loosen up the course.

The focus on academic honesty in the context of a GSP lecture responds to the changing conditions for academic study, triggered above all by massification and digitization. Most recently, distance learning led to a quick transformation of universities.

This is one of the first interfaculty lectures of this kind in Austria, introduced in 2019.


Main document: TU Wien (2007): Code of Conduct – Regeln zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis

TU Wien (2020): Website des Arbeitsschwerpunkts GWP – Gute wissenschaftliche Praxis (with further manuals)

Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung (2020): Praxisleitfaden für Integrität und Ethik in der Wissenschaft

IHS/WIFO (2020): Memorandum of Understanding – Prinzipien der wissenschaftlichen Integrität für Auftragsstudien

Österreichische Agentur für wissenschaftliche Integrität – ÖAWI (Neugestaltung 2019, Stand 2015): Richtlinien der Österreichischen Agentur für wissenschaftliche Integrität zur Guten Wissenschaftlichen Praxis

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG (2019): Leitlinien zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis – Kodex

ALLEA (Revised Version 2017): The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG (Zweite Auflage 2013, erste Auflage 1998): Denkschrift „Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis“, Wiley-VCH/DFG

European Science Foundation – ESF/ALLEA (2011): The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity

Singapore Statement on Research Integrity (2010)

Further links:

Richtlinie des Rektorats: Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis an der Universität Innsbruck (2011)

Qualitätssicherung des Bundesinstituts für Bevölkerungsforschung (Deutschland)

Photo credits: Word cloud own creation S.W., 2019; screenshots from uploads on the TUWEL-course of the lecture, both screenshots (c) NDR, documentation series on fake science, 2018, https://bit.ly/2RDUSGf

Teaching methods

LIVE-LECTURE VIA ZOOM – the Zoom links for both days are published in the TUWEL course!

No exam-immanent course, therefore no attendance obligation for you! However, attendance at the live lectures is strongly recommended, as no recording will be made due to data protection reasons.

Case studies, software demonstrations, quality checks of concrete scientific theses, podcasts, short videos, interactive live surveys with the live voting tool "Mentimeter", external guest lecture (TU staff member Adi Krpo MEng., contract cheating detection software TransparencyWise), possibly students' own short lecture inputs. Supportive material will be available after the seminar in TUWEL.

Mode of examination


Additional information


  • Weber, Stefan


Course dates

Wed14:00 - 20:0021.04.2021 Distance Learning - TUWEL (LIVE)1. Einheit
Thu14:00 - 20:0022.04.2021 Distance Learning - TUWEL (LIVE)2. Einheit
Course is held blocked

Examination modalities


Please download the exam questions and further files related to the exam from the TUWEL course of the concerned semester. Download is possible after start of the exam. The prerequisite for this is that you are registered for the course at all. Only then will you have access to the TUWEL course! (Attention: In TISS it is currently only possible to announce a single day, please ignore this. The exam lasts seven days).

Unauthorised tools are: Lecture notes and summaries of other students as well as the involvement of other persons including the cooperation of students of the VO. Each submission must represent a recognisably 100% individual achievement.

All fees are checked for plagiarism with the Turnitin software and thus compared with each other for parallels!

Only the written examination is evaluated; however, students can improve their grades with their own input during the VO (possibly small case studies) and cooperation.

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
05.02.2021 20:00 20.04.2021 23:59 20.04.2021 23:59


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
066 440 Spatial Planning Not specified
066 490 Technical Chemistry Not specified
TRS Transferable Skills Not specified


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge