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Rules of procedure for the Practice Committee for Aalborg University (AAU Practice Committee)

These rules describe the activities of the AAU Practice Committee

Published: 12.01.2018 (Last revised: 21.11.2019)

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Content

Objective

1. The objective of these rules of procedure is to support the work of the committee, including to ensure that all allegations submitted to the committee are handled efficiently and consistently with due consideration of the individual’s legal rights and the University’s obligation to review allegations of research misconduct or questionable research practice.
 

Committee meetings

2. The AAU Practice Committee meets six times annually. The committee meeting schedule is determined once a year at the last meeting before the summer holidays.

(2) Committee meetings are closed.

3. All committee members have a duty of confidentiality with respect to information which is covered by the rules on confidentiality in public administration.

 

 Meeting invitations and reviewing allegations

4. Permanent members are invited to committee meetings as required attendees, while additional faculty members and ad hoc members are invited only when specific allegations against individuals affiliated with their faculty are reviewed.

5. Committee members who are unable to attend a committee meeting are required to notify the committee secretary prior to the meeting.

6. The agenda and any relevant information concerning the review of allegations will be forwarded to committee members at least five working days before the meeting.

(2) Any committee member and the Rector may suggest items for the agenda. Any agenda items and relevant material for ordinary committee meetings must be submitted to the committee secretary no later than eight days before the meeting. Under special circumstances, the chair of the committee may allow later submission.

(3) As a general rule, agenda items are open unless the chair determines that an item should be treated confidentially. Specific allegations are always closed items.

(4) Meeting agendas will be published in Danish on the committee website when these are forwarded to committee members. However, the agenda will be adapted to ensure that no confidential information in relation to closed items is published.

(5) Whenever relevant, the AAU Practice Committee may invite third parties to attend meetings; however, third parties do not have voting rights.

(6) For the investigations of specific issues, the committee may set up an expert committee comprising permanent members/additional faculty members of the AAU Practice Committee, individuals not affiliated with the committee or an expert committee comprising both internal and external members; all members of an expert committee must have particular insight into a specific area of expertise.

 

Conducting meetings, chairing meetings, negotiations and voting

7. Prior to reviewing specific allegations of questionable research practice or preliminary investigations of allegations of research misconduct, the chair must note how many committee members are present and confirm that the AAU Practice Committee forms a quorum, cf. section 24 in the regulations of the AAU Practice Committee.

(2) Relevant administrative staff members from the Rector's Office and the faculty offices attend meetings without the right to vote.

 

8. The chair is responsible for chairing meetings. In the absence of the chair, the deputy chair will assume the authority of the chair in accordance with the rules of procedure. The chair has the decision-making authority in all matters relating to managing negotiations.

(2) Decisions on specific allegations will be made by the committee after all members have stated their position on the matter; the chair will then draw a conclusion which will be the statement of the committee. If there is a difference of opinion in the committee and the issue forms part of the investigation process, the chair may decide to take a vote.

(3) As a general rule, the committee may only make decisions on issues included as individual items on the agenda distributed prior to the meeting. In the event that an urgent decision is required on an issue not on the agenda, a decision may be made if the chair or the deputy chair and the required number of members are present.

(4) In the event that proposals for major changes to a recommendation arise etc. or opinions differ strongly, the chair may decide that the final decision on the matter is deferred to a later meeting. Furthermore, the chair may determine that such proposed changes are submitted in writing prior to the later meeting so that no other major changes - except for minor corrections - may be proposed for the committee’s statement during the meeting. If the committee cannot reach an agreement, a note of dissent must be included as a separate part of the statement.

 

 Member attendance in negotiations and voting

9. AAU Practice Committee members are obliged to attend committee meetings.

(2) Permanent members and additional faculty members are obliged to attend meetings concerning specific allegations, cf. chapter 2 of the regulations of the AAU Practice Committee, and participate on an equal footing with committee members.

(3) In the event of conflicts of interests or long-term absence of committee members, the additional faculty member will take their place in the AAU Practice Committee. In the event of a conflict of interest or in the event of long-term absence of the chair, the deputy chair will act as chair on a temporary basis.

(4) If a conflict of interest arises during the meeting, the AAU Practice Committee may decide that the member in question should be disqualified from the negotiations and voting of that specific allegation according to the general rules on disqualification.

(5) The relevant member may not be present nor involved in the processing and determination of the disqualification issue.

 

Minutes and procedure for further processing

10. Minutes will be taken of all AAU Practice Committee meetings. Records of decisions made by the committee will be briefly summarised.

(2) Any of the members and ad hoc members may ask for their differing opinion to be briefly recorded in the minutes. Such a request must be made before the agenda item is concluded, and its content should be briefly stated.

(3) The minutes must be forwarded to all meeting attendees for approval no later than 10 working days after the meeting. Closed items on the agenda may only be forwarded to those who were present at the discussion of the item.

(4) Any comments to the minutes must be submitted within 10 working days. After this deadline, the minutes are considered to be approved.

(5) The minutes will be published in Danish on the committee's website. Closed items are not recorded in the published version.

 

 However, the committee will compile an annual report comprising information on submitted allegations and other committee activities that will be made available to all staff, academic councils and the Rector. Specific allegations will only be described in anonymised form.

(6) The minutes must also contain information on which members were present at the beginning of the meeting, cf. section 4.

11. The chair is responsible for forwarding cases for further processing and is assisted by the committee secretary; any enquiries from the committee or the chair to authorities outside the University should be made through the committee secretary.

 

Questions regarding the interpretation of these rules of procedure and amendments

12. All members are required to provisionally comply with the chair’s decision on how to interpret the provisions in these rules of procedure, until further notice.

13. Any member may propose amendments to the rules of procedure for discussion in the committee. Any amendments to the rules of procedure must be approved by the Rector upon recommendation by the committee.

Origin, background and history

These rules of procedure have been prepared by the AAU Practice Committee and approved by the Rector on 1 November 2017.

Purpose and delimitation

The rules of procedure for the Practice Committee for Aalborg University have been determined in accordance with section 13 of the regulations for the AAU Practice Committee and include provisions on the activities of the AAU Practice Committee, including meetings, meeting invitations, negotiations and voting.

Overall framework

These rules of procedure have been determined in accordance with the regulations for the AAU Practice Committee.

Contact and responsibility

Questions etc. may be directed to the Rector's Office.

Attachment

Form for reporting research misconduct or questionable research practice here.

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