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Scientific Integrity for PhD candidates in Archaeology and the Humanities

Science is based on trust: trust among scientists and trust between the Academy and society at large. Hence, scientific integrity and research ethics are of crucial importance to researchers, teachers, and students at every level. This course considers ethics and integrity in theory and practice.

Target group
PhD candidate
Maghiel van Crevel  (Professor of Chinese Language and Literature)
Training course
Lecture + workshop
You may register the workload for 20 hours upon completing all parts (preparation, lecture, further reading: 15 hours; workshop and/or discussion with your supervisor and reflection on your own research: 5 hours).


For this course you will do some preparatory reading, watch a web lecture and attend a workshop. The lecture offers a series of reflections on ethics and integrity in academic work, from many different angles. You can pick and choose from the parts that matter the most to you but you are equally welcome to watch the whole thing. After watching the lecture, you will join a follow-up workshop that is convened in the Faculty of Archaeology or your institute in the Faculty of Humanities.

Here is the link to the current edition of the lecture: https://video.leidenuniv.nl/playlist/details/1_rcw27khl

In preparation for the lecture, please review:

(1) Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy of the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. 2009. On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research: Third Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

This is a brief, well-written book. While many of the examples come from the natural sciences, the underlying issues are equally relevant for other fields.

(2) Kees Schuyt. 2019. Scientific Integrity: The Rules of Academic Research, translated by Kristen Gehrman. Leiden: Leiden University Press.

Schuyt offers a reflexive, critical study of scientific integrity and the discourse surrounding it, from various angles: historical, ethical, legal, etc, with ample attention to both theory and practice. Minimally read: table of contents, pp 9–11, 21–29, 31–36, 72–78, 97–116, and 125–136.

(3) The Leiden University online module on scientific integrity.

Please focus on the sections on peer review (5), authorship (6), open access (7), research involving humans (9), research data management (12), and bias (18).

(4) Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, chapters 2 and 3.

(5) Emily E. Anderson and Amy Corneli, 100 Questions (and Answers) about Research Ethics. Los Angeles: Sage, 2018 (available online through the University library).

If your research involves human participants, you might want to take a skim-and-dive approach to this (social-science-oriented) book. You can start from the Contents tab and combine this with the search function for the full book: for instance, search for “interview”.

(6) Optional: Jonathan Marks, Why I am Not a Scientist: Anthropology and Modern Knowledge. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009: Preface and chapter 7: “Scientific Misconduct” (available online through the University library).

This book’s key point is that science is cultural and hence not value-free.

Additionally, prepare to offer some individual reflection on ethics and integrity in relation to your own field and your own research, as part of the follow-up workshop and/or a discussion with your supervisors. Depending on the workshop set-up, the convener may use the Dilemma Game developed at Erasmus University, and you are encouraged to familiarise yourself with this.

In case you want to know more about other material cited in the lecture, please consult the list of works cited below.

For whom

All PhD candidates in the faculties of Archaeology and Humanities at Leiden University are encouraged to follow this course, preferably during the early stages of their research. For those enrolled at the Graduate School of Humanities on or after 1 January 2019, this course is mandatory.


•    Scientific integrity
•    Research ethics
•    Fraud versus error: shades of grey?
•    The rules of research
•    Values, relations, ecologies, and context
•    Compliance and contemplation

What you'll learn

You will further develop your understanding of research ethics and scientific integrity and the way these things play out in everyday practice. You will learn how to identify the issues and reflect on ways of addressing them, and you will know where to look for more information if you need it.


Preparatory reading, a web lecture, and a follow-up workshop (see above).


You can register your participation to the workshop and/or a report of the discussion with your supervisor(s) under the tab 'Annual meetings and activities' under 'Academic Activities' in Converis GSM. If you encounter any difficulties with this registration process, please contact the key-user of your institute .  


For more information, please check the Graduate School for Humanities webpage on Scientific Integrity Graduate School Humanities and if you cannot find the information there please send an email to graduateschool@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

Selected works cited in the web lecture (other than preparatory material)

  • AHA (American Historical Association) Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct
  • Alpermann, Björn. 2022. “Ethics in Social Science Research on China.” Made in China, 27 June 2022
  • AoIR (Association of Internet Researchers) Internet Research: Ethical Guidelines 3.0
  • ASA (Association of Social Anthropologists of the United Kingdom) ethics pages
  • Bähre, Erik. 2015. “Ethnography’s Blind Spot: Intimacy, Violence, and Fielwork Relations in South Africa.” Social Analysis 59(3): 1–16
  • Boellstorff, Tom, Bonnie Nardi, Celia Pearce, T. L. Taylor. 2012. Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method. Princeton: Princeton University Press
  • de Casanova, Erynn Masi & Tamar R. Mose. 2017. “Translation in Ethnography: Representing Latin American Studies in English.” Translation and Interpreting Studies 12(1): 1–23
  • Dougherty, Michael V. Correcting the Scholarly Record for Research Integrity: In the Aftermath of Plagiarism. Cham: Springer
  • Dougherty, Michael V. “The Use of Confidentiality and Anonymity Protections as a Cover for Fraudulent Fieldwork Data.” Research Ethics 17(4): 480–500
  • Gallois, William. 2016. “Ethics and Historical Research.” In Research Methods for History, edited by Lucy Faire & Simon Gunn: 229–246. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
  • Ghanem-Yazbeck, Dalia. 2017. “Challenging Fieldwork: Researching Large-Scale Massacres in Algeria.” Anthropology Matters Journal 17(1): 28–56
  • González-Ruibal, Alfredo. 2018. “Ethics and Archaeology.” Annual Review of Anthropology 47: 345–360
  • Greitens, Sheena Chestnut & Rory Truex. 2020. “Repressive Experiences Among China Scholars: New Evidence from Survey Data.” China Quarterly 242: 349–365
  • Hansson, Sven Ove. 2015. “The Ethics of Doing Philosophy.” Theoria 81: 93–96
  • Jackson, Peter. 2019. “South East Asian Area Studies beyond Anglo-America: Geopolitical Transitions, the Neoliberal Academy and Spatialized Regimes of Knowledge.” South East Asia Research 27(1): 49–73
  • KNAW (Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen). 2022. Social Safety in Dutch Academia: From Paper to Practice. Amsterdam: KNAW
  • Koops, Willem. 2020. “Academische klassenjustitie ondermijnt wetenschappelijke integriteit universiteiten” [Inequality before the law in academia undermines scientific integrity at universities]. DUB, 11 May 2020
  • Maeckelbergh, Marianne. 2022. “Navigating Conflicting Instruments of Data Morallity.” In Audiovisual and Digital Ethnography: A Practical and Theoretical Guide, by Cristina Grasseni, Bart Barendregt, Erik de Maaker, Federico De Musso, Andrew Littlejohn, Marianne Maeckelbergh, Metje Postma, and Mark R. Westmoreland: 191–213. London: Routledge
  • Markham, Anette. 2006. “Ethic as Method, Method as Ethic: A Case for Reflexivity in Qualitative ICT Research.” Journal of Information Ethics 15(2): 37–55
  • Markham, Anette. 2018. “Afterword: Ethics as Impact—Moving from Error Avoidance and Concept-Driven Models to a Future-Oriented Approach.” Social Media and Society, July-September 2018
  • McKee, Heidi E. & James E. Porter. 2012. “The Ethics of Archival Research.” College Composition and Communication 64(1) (special issue on research methodologies): 59–81
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) Statement of Professional Ethics
  • NESH ([Norwegian] National Research Ethics Committee) Guide to Internet Research Ethics
  • Proferes, Nicholas. 2021. “What Ethics Can Offer the Digital Humanities and What the Digital Humanities Can Offer Ethics.” In Routledge International Handbook of Research Methods in Digital Humanities, edited by Kristen Schuster & Stuart Dunn: 416–427. London: Routledge
  • SAA (Society for American Archaeology) Principles of Archaeological Ethics
  • Schrag, Zachary. 2021. The Princeton Guide to Historical Research, chapter 2: “Historians’ Ethics,” 24–35. Princeton: Princeton University Press
  • Sleeboom-Faulkner, Margaret, Bob Simpson, Elena Burgos Martinez, and James McMurray. 2017. “The Formalization of Social-Science Research Ethics: How Did We Get There?” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7(1): 71–79
  • Stoler, Ann Laura. 2002. “Colonial Archives and the Arts of Governance.” Archival Science 2: 87–109
  • Subotić, Jelena. 2021. “Ethics of Archival Research on Political Violence.” Journal of Peace Research 58(3): 342–35
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