The Ombudsperson is an independent, appropriately qualified academic staff member from each MPI, elected to act as an impartial mediator in cases of conflict on matters of good scientific practice. It is the job of the ombudsperson to be available to all concerned as a confidential advisor for employees from all departments in cases where there is suspicion of a violation of the principles of good scientific practice.

The Ombudsperson also helps employees work through work-related problems and conflicts and thus can be contacted to mediate disputes between employees, employees and Operations and employees and the Directorate

Research at the Max Planck institute for Psycholinguistics is guided by the fundamental principles of research integrity and fully endorsed by the Max Planck society .

These principles have been summarised in the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity .

and include:

  • Reliability in ensuring the quality of research, reflected in the design, the methodology, the analysis and the use of resources.
  • Honesty in developing, undertaking, reviewing, reporting and communicating research in a transparent, fair, full and unbiased way.
  • Respect for colleagues, research participants, society, ecosystems, cultural heritage and the environment.
  • Accountability for the research from idea to publication, for its management and organisation, for training, supervision and mentoring, and for its wider impacts.


Scientific misconduct encompasses:

  • Falsification, i.e. manipulating research materials, equipment or processes or changing, omitting or suppressing data or results without justification.
  • Fabrication, i.e. making up results and recording them as if they were real.
  • Plagiarism, i.e. using other people‚Äôs work and ideas without giving proper credit to the original source, thus violating the rights of the original author(s) to their intellectual outputs.


Special advice for research conducted at Dutch institutions, is detailed in the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity and for research at German institutions in the Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice

The Max Planck Society offers all scientists the opportunity to receive confidential advice in situations of potential conflict or ambiguity to ensure the implementation of good scientific practice.

If you encounter such as situation, please contact the Ombudsperson at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.


Beate St Pourcain

Senior Investigator
Language and Genetics Department
+31 24 3521964
Beate [dot] StPourcain [at] mpi [dot] nl

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