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Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit x Jaar 2015 x
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Ethische dilemma’s bij criminologisch onderzoek

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden Ethical issues, Scientific integrity, Confidentiality, Informed consent, Fabrication and falsification, Ethical commissions
Auteurs Prof. dr. Henk van de Bunt
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Recent years have seen a growing interest in scientific malpractice. In the Netherlands, for example, several major cases of plagiarism, fabrication of data and falsification of findings have come to light. The scandal surrounding the Dutch social psychologist Diederik Stapel, who simply made up the results of empirical research, prompted worldwide attention. As a result of these scandals, universities have, in the past few years, increased their efforts to better ensure the integrity of scientific research. In this process it is sometimes overlooked that scientific integrity is not a clear-cut concept. By examining three ethical issues relevant to criminological research, this article aims to illustrate that the assessment of integrity is a complicated matter. The first dilemma relates to maintaining confidentiality: how to ensure that the privacy of respondents is protected and the research will not harm their interests? The second dilemma has to do with the degree of openness and transparency required from the viewpoint of scientific accountability. How transparent can one be when it comes to conducting scientific research based on secret information and closed sources that are only accessible to the researchers? Finally, the third dilemma concerns the independent position of criminological research. What are the possibilities and limitations of free and independent research in the field of criminology?


Prof. dr. Henk van de Bunt
Prof. dr. H.G. (Henk) van de Bunt is hoogleraar criminologie aan de Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
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