GEOMAR is adopting the rules of "good scientific practice" as recommended by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The ombudspersons of GEOMAR are Prof. Dr. Martin Wahl, Prof. Dr. Christian Berndt and Prof. Dr. Anja Engel.

The code of conduct by DFG can be downloadedhere..





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 can be found at:


Your ombudspersons: Anja Engel, Christian Berndt, and Martin Wahl


Prof. Dr. Martin Wahl
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Research Division 3: Marine Ecology
Düsternbrooker Weg 20 
D-24105 Kiel 
Phone: +49-431 - 600-4500
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

Prof. Dr. Anja Engel
Research Division 2: Marine Biogeochemistry
Düsternbrooker Weg 20
D-24105 Kiel
Phone: +49-431 - 600 - 1510
Fax: +49-431 - 600 - 1448