Code of Ethics for Researchers of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Code of Ethics for Scientific Research of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Motto: "To search for knowledge, that, sir, is an extremely active life. When you say science you also mean by it effort, patience, persistence, devotion, honesty – nothing but the requirements of an active life – and of a moral life."
(T. G. Masaryk in Karel Čapek: Masaryk on Thought and Life: Conversations with Karel Čapek)


General Principles

A CAS employee[1]:

  1. abides in his/her work by the basic moral principles and values of the academic environment, which include primarily:
    1. freedom of research;
    2. fairness;
    3. equal opportunities;
    4. responsibility;
    5. honesty;
    6. diligence;
    7. trust;
    8. respect for others.
  2. does not allow a conflict of interest to arise from his/her position at a CAS institute and related activities and his/her private interests; s/he also honours the Academy of Sciences by not jeopardising its operations through his/her other activities;
  3. conducts his/her research with full professional and personal commitment proportionate to the amount of his/her contractual workload. The total of his/her contractual workload will usually not exceed a 1.5 equivalent of standard full-time appointment;
  4. requires his/her colleagues to act in accordance with these principles;
  5. does not defend or conceal conduct that is in conflict with the principles set forth in this Code, not even through reference to any requirement of obedience and loyalty;
  6. considers science and research an integral part of culture and a source of innovation and defends them against being challenged;
  7. stands up to unethical and inappropriate use of scientific knowledge;
  8. broadens and deepens his/her knowledge and strives to improve his/her professional competencies;
  9. maintains a critical attitude toward his/her own scientific findings and results as well as to results of his/her colleagues and is open to discussion and dispassionate argument;
  10. defends the freedom of scientific thought, expression, exchanges of opinion and information;
  11. rejects the use of unscientific approaches and politically or socially prejudiced (e.g. racist, religious, nationalistic) perspectives in science;
  12. observes the principles of neutrality and resists ideological and political pressures as well as the interests of any pressure groups;
  13. recognises and personally helps uphold the principles of reliable, trustworthy scientific practice within the scientific community and rejects all scientific dishonesty and violations of the principles specified in this Code;
  14. does not hesitate to report to the appropriate authorities any ethical breaches in research activities if s/he becomes aware of them; in case s/he has exhausted all available options for resolving such an issue through the Academy of Sciences’ internal mechanisms under Chapter VI, s/he may make public such transgressions without necessarily breaking his/her loyalty to the Czech Academy of Sciences;
  15. does not waste material and energy resources, strives to reduce the climate and environmental footprint of his/her activities;
  16. strives to strengthen the institutional resilience of the Czech Academy of Sciences and does not consciously create space for unwanted influence of a foreign power.

[1] In this Code, CAS is understood to mean the Czech Academy of Sciences and its institutes. Terms referring to persons or positions in this Code are used in a gender-neutral sense.


Principles of Scientific Work

A CAS employee:

  1. focuses his/her research on pushing the frontiers of scientific knowledge for the benefit of society;
  2. carries out his/her research in such a way that society, the environment and cultural values are not endangered;
  3. performs animal experiments with respect for living creatures;
  4. when obtaining, selecting and assessing data, s/he observes the general principles (Article I) while taking into account the specifics of his/her discipline. Conduct that is incompatible with the principles of ethical behaviour in science includes, but is not limited to, fraud, forgery, plagiarism, falsification, misrepresentation, deliberate deception and theft at any stage of the scientific research process from its conception to the publication of its results;
  5. is responsible for the precision and objectivity of his/her research or research s/he directly coordinates, and recognises the limits of research methods used;
  6. when publishing findings and results concerning a particular problem, s/he is responsible for their completeness and verifiability and interprets them without distortion;
  7. after publication, s/he preserves the primary data and the documentation of all substantial results for the period of time that is customary in a given discipline, unless other obligations or regulations preclude this;
  8. is responsible for the purposeful and efficient use of research funds and does not duplicate research previously carried out elsewhere, unless replication is needed for verifying, supplementing or comparing the results;
  9. communicates those results of his/her research that are not considered confidential to the professional community and provides them in a judicious manner to the general public while keeping in mind the current state of scientific knowledge;
  10. does not disparage scientific practices and respects different scientific opinions as well as the plurality of scientific disciplines;
  11. respects intellectual property, does not remove it from the institute where it was created or devalue it in any way.


Principles for Disseminating Scientific Knowledge and Results

A CAS employee:

  1. should be named as the author or co-author of a scientific publication if s/he has contributed in a substantial way to its creation, e.g., in the design of the studies and experiments and their realisation, in the analysis, interpretation, theoretical treatment or modelling of the data or in writing the publication, and if co-authorship is agreed to by him/her; a managerial position at an institute does not automatically constitute any right to co-authorship;
  2. as an editor or lead author of joint publications, s/he observes the rights of co-authors (does not change the text without their knowledge, takes every care necessary that the joint publication is published without needless delays, notifies authors of partial studies if their text will not be included in a publication, informs co-authors about the modes of joint publication);
  3. puts his/her research in the context of the current state of knowledge concerning a given topic and refers to previously published works while following the rules of a given field. When citing other authors’ findings and results, s/he makes a clear reference to the relevant source;
  4. cites also important works that do not correspond to his/her own results and conclusions;
  5. publishes errata or other corrections, retracts a publication or takes other appropriate steps if s/he later finds a substantial error in his/her published data or if s/he is alerted to an error;
  6. avoids partitioning his/her results and findings by publishing them in multiple publications with the intention to increase artificially the number of his/her publications;
  7. does not intentionally publish in ethically dubious publishing platforms;
  8. publishes with the aim of transferring his/her results and knowledge to the professional community, not merely for the purpose of reporting scientific output;
  9. institute affiliation can only be used for publications that are at least partially the result of scientific work conducted at the relevant institute (in other cases, the institute can be indicated in the form of the “present address” of an author who is currently employed at the institute but obtained his/her results at another institution);
  10. does not obtain citations of his/her own works through participating in an ad-hoc alliance of multiple authors aimed at securing citations of each other’s works.


Principles Regulating Relations among Colleagues

A CAS employee:

  1. accepts his/her research colleagues based on an objective evaluation of their intellectual, ethical and personal characteristics;
  2. if leading a research team, s/he ensures fairness and openness in mutual communication, avoids unjustifiably autocratic management methods and prevents dishonest behaviour set off by, for example, performance requirements and professional competitiveness;
  3. assesses his/her colleagues according to the results of their work and treats them fairly, not requiring from them work that is not their responsibility, and does not place demands on them that are unreasonable given their abilities and capacity;
  4. through discussion as well as personal example, s/he imparts his/her knowledge, skills and principles of good conduct in science to his/her colleagues;
  5. does not discriminate against other persons, in particular does not harbour prejudice based on race, ethnic origin, nationality, language, ideology, religious belief, worldview, age, gender, sexual orientation, physical handicap, social origin or material property;
  6. does not engage in or support acts that harm the psychological or physical integrity of other persons (in particular bullying, sexual harassment or other forms of aggression);
  7. does not abuse his/her senior position or professional authority by engaging in manipulative behaviour, intimidation or extortion, but develops independent, critical thinking and a responsible approach to work and respects the right to free expression of opinions about research;
  8. supports the professional advancement of subordinate researchers, their scientific and publication activities and international contacts and lists them among the authors of a publication if they made a creative contribution to it;
  9. ensures that there are consequences for any unethical behaviour by his/her colleagues;
  10. supports positive attitudes towards people with specific needs and supports improvements of the working environment such that these people can be involved in the academic community.


Principles for Assessment, Evaluation, Peer Reviewing and Expert Activities

A CAS employee:

  1. personally performs assessment or other evaluative work s/he has been assigned;
  2. protects the intellectual property of the authors of manuscripts, project proposals and reports under evaluation; does not use any data from the materials in question for any purpose other than preparation of an expert opinion and does not disclose them to third parties;
  3. does not intentionally prolong the evaluation task so as to gain personal advantage or to benefit a third party;
  4. refuses to prepare an expert opinion, the conclusions of which could be influenced by his/her personal interest, or explicitly reveals this fact in advance; avoids any other potential conflicts of interest;
  5. prepares expert opinions responsibly and only within his/her area of expertise, resisting any potential external pressures which might affect the outcome of the evaluation;
  6. observes objective criteria in evaluating and peer-reviewing procedures, adheres to the contractor’s rules and requires the same from any other participants in the procedure.


Procedure for Dealing with Breaches of Principles of Proper Conduct in Scientific Research Work

In the event of a breach of this Code’s principles, the following procedure will be observed:

  1. the matter is discussed at the CAS institute at the level of its organisational structure (for this purpose, ad hoc committees may be established at the relevant level) or in the CAS Scientific Integrity Committee;
  2. a hearing is conducted in cooperation with all parties involved, and care is taken to ensure highest possible degree of privacy;
  3. the conclusions of the process must be communicated to all parties involved and must contain a proposal for remedial action if a breach of scientific ethics is found. Article 65 of the CAS Statutes or the Labour Code may be applied in cases that warrant such an approach.



It is recommended that CAS institutes supplement the Code of Ethics with measures specific to different scientific fields.

When preparing the Code of Ethics for Scientific Research of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the following materials were used:

  • Research Ethics Framework, resolution of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 1005 of 17 August 2005;
  • European Charter for Researchers, 2005/251/EC, Official Journal of the European Union of 22 March 2005;
  • Good Manners in Science; A Set of Principles and Guidelines, Polish Academy of Sciences, Committee for Ethics in Science, Third (amended) edition, Warsaw 2001;
  • Rules of Good Scientific Practice, adopted by the Senate of the Max Planck Society on 24 November 2000;
  • Memorandum on Scientific Integrity, All European Academies, Amsterdam 2003 (On standards for Scientific Research and a National Committee for Scientific Integrity, KNAW, NWO, VSNU, 2001);
  • Singapore Statement on Research Integrity, 2010;
  • The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, 2011;
  • Montreal Statement on Research Integrity in Cross-Boundary Research Collaborations, 2013;
  • The Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA), 2022
  • Guidance on Authorship in Scientific Publications for Researchers of the J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry of the CAS;
  • Codes of Ethics of Charles University, GA CR and the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS.



This Code of Ethics comes into effect on 16 April 2024