The International LOFAR Telescope Code of Conduct
The primary purpose of the International LOFAR Telescope is to conduct scientific research of the highest quality. Therefore, everybody involved in constructing, operating, and using the telescope and its data products is expected to adhere to established codes of conduct for scientific research and inter-personal conduct. These codes are in general based on responsibility, respect, fairness, honesty, and the avoidance of conflicts of interest.
Rather than producing an extensive code of conduct of our own, we here refer to the "The_Netherlands_Code_of_Conduct_for_Scientific_Practice_2012" established by the organization of Netherlands Universities (VSNU) and adopted by the Netherlands Research Foundation (NWO) as well as the "AAS Ethics Statement" adopted by the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
People carrying out work or having a function for the ILT, as well as all people making use of ILT facilities, or collaborating on ILT operational or development projects, technical or astronomical, are expected to treat each other with respect and dignity, as outlined in codes of conduct such as the Workplace Conduct ó National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
The respective employers of the people thus involved in the ILT are expected to each have their own appropriate code of conduct along these lines.
Since the codes of conduct cited above are general in nature, they are to be taken in spirit when statements are relevant but not matching in detail to scientific research and exploitation of the ILT; the ILT Board is the final interpreter of any issues arising. Users, officers, and employees of the organizations involved in the operations of (parts of) the facility are expected to adhere to these guidelines of good scientific practice and of mutual inter-personal conduct to the best of their abilities.
In particular, any users of ILT data are expected to reduce their data with great diligence and care. Publication in any form of scientific results and conclusions needs to be supported by the data and the data reduction steps need to be clearly described. Co-proposers of any observing project need to be fully informed about the status of the data taking, the analysis, and the ensuing publication in a timely manner by the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project. Confidential information obtained from ILT proposals or other internal documents must not be used for other proposals. Inadvertent breaches of confidentially must be declared to the relevant parties or the ILT director. Data proprietary rules must be respected. User processed/analyzed data that have not yet been published may not be published by another person or group or used without the explicit consent of those involved in originally analyzing the data. Due credit has to be given to everyone involved in the proposal preparation and the data analysis process.
Proprietary data rights of ILT observations are typically granted for a specific purpose as requested for in an observing proposal. If observations are to be used for a very different purpose, the ILT director should be consulted to avoid any possible infringement on other ongoing projects.
Every ILT officer or member of any ILT committee is expected to behave in an honest and respectful manner. The primary goal of any officer has to be to enable the best possible science output of the ILT and to work for the common good of the entire facility. Any conflicts of interests need to be declared to the ILT director and, where necessary, to the ILT Board.
Any scientific misconduct in connection with an ILT-related projected should be reported to the ILT director who can then investigate the issue and potentially reprimand any parties violating the code of conduct. Gross or repeated scientific misconduct can lead to the loss of an office, the revocation of any data rights granted to any observer, or the disqualification from future proposing rounds. In any such cases the ILT Board will serve as the final court of appeal for any party involved.
Anybody asking for archival or new data, or working for the ILT as an employee of an organization involved in operations or in any official function, paid or unpaid, will be informed about these guidelines, including the ethics documents mentioned above, and thereby agrees to adhere to them, when submitting a data request or taking up a position.
Approved in ILT Board, 17 September 2015