Good scientific practice at GEOMAR

Scientific misconduct is on the rise and poses a great danger to the scientists and institutions affected by this. It damages the reputation and career of the scientists involved in scientific misconduct and that of people affected by it. Ultimately, scientific misbehaviour will erode the very foundation of our work which is society’s confidence in science.

 For many reasons scientific misconduct is on the rise. Therefore, we urge everybody at GEOMAR not to ignore infringements of the German Science Foundations (DFG) Guidelines for Good Scientific Practice in your scientific environment or if you feel pressured to get involved in such infringements. Ignoring scientific misconduct is also scientific misconduct.

 You may either address the persons involved directly (often they don’t know that they are doing something wrong) or you can contact one of the ombudspersons at GEOMAR or the ombudsperson at DFG. Your case will be treated with strict confidentiality and with impartiality. Most of the time, such cases can be resolved in discussions, but there are also procedures in place to deal with more serious cases of scientific misconduct.

 In the following please find a (non-exhaustive) list of the most common breaches of the guidelines, to give you an idea what we are talking about.

  • addition of “big” names as co-authors to facilitate publication
  • omission of co-authors
  • trimming of statistical procedures
  • theft of ideas from confidential documents, e.g. from manuscripts or proposals in review
  • hiding of unwanted data
  • rejection of competing papers or proposals
  • theft of data or samples
  • plagiarism
  • data falsification
  • more

The full DFG guidelines (in German) can be found at:

Your ombudspersons: Christa Marandino, Christian Berndt, and Florian Weinberger


GEOMAR is adopting the rules of "good scientific practice" as recommended by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The ombudspersons of GEOMAR are Dr. Florian Weinberger, Prof. Dr. Christian Berndt and Dr. Christa Marandino.

The code of conduct by DFG can be downloaded here..




  • Dr. Florian Weinberger
    GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
    Research Division 3: Marine Ecology
    Düsternbrooker Weg 20 
    D-24105 Kiel 
    Phone: +49-431 - 600-4516
    Fax: +49-431 - 600-1671

    Prof. Dr. Christian Berndt
    Research Division 4: Dynamics of the Ocean Floor
    Wischhofstr. 1-3
    D-24148 Kiel
    Phone: +49-431 - 600 - 2273
    Fax: +49-431 - 600 - 2922

    Dr. Christa Marandino
    Research Division 2: Marine Biogeochemistry
    Düsternbrooker Weg 20
    D-24105 Kiel
    Phone: +49-431 - 600 - 4219