Statement by the Institute of German Studies at the University of Duisburg-EssenPrinciples to ensure good scientific practice in studies and examinations

The teachers at the Institute of German Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen consider it their duty to implement the principles for ensuring good academic practice at the University of Duisburg-Essen in their own work and to inform their students and junior academics about these principles. The students at the Institute learn these principles with the support of the lecturers in the courses, in their own studies with the help of the relevant literature and, if necessary, by using other facilities of the University of Duisburg-Essen, such as above all the writing workshop with its advisory and seminar services. Good academic practice in this sense includes the documentation of the materials and sources of information used for the work and examination performance, which must be identified in terms of the usual academic standards.

Unfortunately, isolated cases can be proven in which the principles of good scientific practice have been violated. These forms of scientific misconduct include in particular:

  •     Misrepresentation, e.g. falsification of data or content, manipulation of sources or results, or submission of work prepared by third parties;
  •     infringement of intellectual property, e.g. by unauthorised assumption of authorship (plagiarism) or theft of ideas with regard to works or findings created by others. This includes the submission of bachelor's, master's, master's, exam and term papers and other examination results which - without having made this known – are:

              - corresponding in whole or in essential parts with those of other authors or students;

              - entirely or substantially consistent in their wording with other works or publications;

              - adopting in a disguised form the contents, methods, argumentation or results of foreign works.


Anyone who intentionally or grossly negligently contributes to the misconduct of others bears joint responsibility for scientific misconduct.

In order to be able to recognise academic misconduct more easily, from 1.2.2012 all academic papers submitted for examination at the Institute of German Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen must also be submitted in digital form so that they can be checked if necessary (the lecturers will inform about their respective desired form of submission - by email, CD or in another way). If academic misconduct is detected in the context of an examination or academic paper, the seminar instructors or examiners first pronounce sanctions, which consist at least of failing the respective examination, which cannot be repeated in the same course with the same instructor but must be taken in another course with another instructor. In addition, such cases of academic misconduct are collected by the Executive Director of German Studies and made available to the teachers as required.

In repeated or particularly serious cases of academic misconduct, more far-reaching sanctions can also be imposed, which are then decided on a case-by-case basis. Prof. Dr. Franz Bosbach, the Prorector for Studies and Teaching at the University of Duisburg-Essen, pointed out in May 2011 that, for example, deliberate deception "can be punished with a fine of up to €50,000" and in the case of "multiple or other serious attempts at deception [...] exmatriculation can also follow". The Institute of German Studies therefore reserves the right to submit cases of academic misconduct to the investigative commission of the University of Duisburg-Essen convened by the Rector for further investigation and, if necessary, to involve the relevant persons of trust in the proceedings.