International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Code of Ethics of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The mission of the IUBMB is to foster and support the growth and advancement of biochemistry and molecular biology as the foundation from which the biomolecular sciences derive their basic ideas and techniques in the service of mankind.

The members of the Adhering Bodies and Associate Adhering Bodies of the IUBMB are at the forefront in the quest for new knowledge in these sciences which has as its ultimate goal the advancement of human welfare. The IUBMB encourages these members to undertake all of their scientific explorations in the spirit of trust that underlies their obligations to the public, to other investigators and to trainees, as described below.

Obligations to the Public:

    1. They will conform to high ethical, professional and scientific standards in both conducting and reporting their research activities.
    2. They will be guided by, promote and follow practices in a spirit of intellectual honesty to enhance the public interest and well-being.
    3. They will use funds appropriately and responsibly in the pursuit of relevant scientific research.
    4. They will follow government and institutional requirements and those of international and national professional organisations that regulate research such as those that ensure the current and future welfare of both human and non-human subjects of the research and the protection and sustainability of the environment.
    5. They will report the findings of their research arising from public funding with due diligence and in a full, open and timely fashion to the scientific community.
    6. They will share in a reasonable manner unique materials developed through publicly funded research when requested by other scientists who require them for their own legitimate research.
    7. They will not engage knowingly in research that is intended for the production of agents of biological warfare or bioterrorism, nor promote such agents.

Obligations to Other Investigators:

    1. They will have actually performed the experiments as described in their reports and will describe the methods used in sufficient detail that the results they report can be repeated by others.
    2. They will present their best interpretation of their work in their description and discussion of it and will not incorporate the work of others as if it were their own in their reports.
    3. They will summarize honestly, or refer appropriately to, previous relevant work, done either by themselves or by others, in their reports.
    4. They will acknowledge in their publications contributions made by others and refrain from accepting honorary authorships.
    5. They will treat in strict confidence manuscripts and grant applications submitted to them for review, will avoid inappropriate use of information contained in such submissions and will respect any confidential information gained in the exercise of their profession.
    6. Other than in the case of preliminary communications or abstracts they will not submit the same work or work that is substantially similar for publication more than once.
    7. They will disclose any direct or indirect financial and/or other interests that could present a conflict of interest when reporting results, serving as reviewers or mentoring students.
    8. They will not deliberately include misleading or inaccurate information relating to research activity or fail to provide relevant information in their curriculum vitae, grant applications, job applications or public statements.
    9. They will support colleagues who find themselves in difficulties that may arise from adherence to this code and also support the efforts of professional organisations to protect such colleagues.

Obligations to Trainees:

    1. They will provide training and professional guidance and share experiences that advance the scientific knowledge and skills and an appreciation of the ethical, research and professional standards, of the trainees they mentor.
    2. They will ensure that the number of trainees that they mentor at any given time is not too large to permit effective interaction with them and oversight of their research and will provide appropriate help in advancing their careers.
    3. They will provide appropriate help to suitably qualified individuals who seek training and originate from parts of the world where biochemistry and molecular biology are still in the early stages of development and where adequate training opportunities may not be available.
    4. They will maintain their professional competence by keeping abreast of new information and developments in their areas of expertise.
    5. They will give appropriate recognition to the research contributions of their trainees and foster publication of the trainees' research both in a timely fashion and without undisclosed limitations.
    6. They will create and maintain a working environment in which all participants are treated with respect regardless of religion, national origin, gender, political preferences, culture or any other attributes not relevant to the pursuit of scientific research.

Approved by the Executive Committee of IUBMB
December 2005