A new European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity has been presented by the European Science Foundation at the World Conference on Research Integrity (July 2010).
Although this code has no “legal” nor local institutional value, it shows significant efforts towards harmonizing the different national codes of conduct, and acknowledging the international characteristic of research. In addition, in this code, misconduct also explicitly include minor misdemeanours, inviting mentors and teachers to pay attention to it.
It could be argued that a code of conduct alone will hardly change the behaviour of researchers. The report (Fostering Research Integrity in Europe – Executive Report) also addresses issues such as the implementation of structures for scientific integrity, which is essential for actually handling misconduct.
Finally, beyond a code of conduct, questioning what can motivate researchers for having a responsible conduct of research, or what could counterbalance the pressures that lead researchers to misbehaviours, could constitute a complementary approach.