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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 is a key issue for researchers, teachers, and students at every level. This course will introduce and review the notion of scientific integrity in theory and practice. What is scientific integrity? Why do we need it? How does it translate into rules for academic research? What happens when these rules are broken? What does this have to do with you?

Target group
PhD candidate
Maghiel van Crevel  (Professor of Chinese Language and Literature)
Training course
Lecture + workshop

PLEASE NOTE: This course will be offered online. Read more about the changes and requirements in the notification.

This lecture will discuss key concepts pertaining to scientific integrity and offer entry points for making these operational in your own academic practice.

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 conduct.

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

Additionally, prepare to offer some individual reflection on scientific integrity in relation to your field or subject specialization and to your own research as part of the subsequent discussion with your supervisor.

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. Those enrolled at the Graduate School of Humanities on or after 1 January 2019 are obligated to complete this course.


  • Scientific integrity
  • Scientific misconduct
  • Fraud versus error: shades of grey?
  • Codes of conduct
  • Violations of codes of conduct
  • Scientific integrity in practice
  • The rules of academic research

What you'll learn

You will further develop your understanding of how science and its institutions work, with particular attention to issues of scientific integrity: their conceptualization and the way they play out in everyday practice. You will learn how to place such issues and reflect on ways of addressing them, and you will know where to look for more information if you need it.


This course is offered twice yearly, once in the fall term and once in the spring term. It consists of a plenary lecture, normally followed by a 90-minute workshop at institute level. In light of the current cancellation of ‘live’ classes, the 2020 spring term lecture will be pre-recorded and made available online early in May. Upon registration, you will be notified once the lecture is online. If your faculty or institute offers you an optional online equivalent to the normal workshop, you will be informed by them separately.

You will review the study material listed above and subsequently follow the lecture. This lecture discusses key concepts pertaining to scientific integrity and offer entry points for making these operational in your own academic practice. Soon after watching the lecture, you write a short text, reflecting on scientific integrity issues in your own research. You discuss these matters with your supervisor during your next appointment – which you may need to plan for, write a report of this discussion, and upload that document under ‘followed courses’ in Converis GSM.


You may register the actual workload with a maximum of 10 hours upon completing all parts. For any additional workshop you would be allowed to register up to 5 hours extra.

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