What can(not) be judged by LOWI?
What does the procedure look like?
How to submit a petition?
Do I have to report myself as an interested party?
Duty of confidentiality
LOWI has an advisory role within the complaints procedure for research integrity. In practice, this means that LOWI assesses the provisional opinion of a board of an affiliated institution and the advice from the Research Integrity Committee on which it is based. LOWI assesses whether the procedure has been carried out carefully, whether standards of research integrity have been violated and, if so, how this should be qualified.
LOWI does not judge scientific controversies or disputes that can be traced back to a labour dispute. For example, LOWI also does not adjudicate on administrative, criminal or civil law issues.
Briefly, the procedure is as follows. As soon as a request has been received, LOWI decides whether the request is eligible for processing. If this is not the case, for example because the request was submitted too late, the request will be declared inadmissible and the proceedings before LOWI will end prematurely. If a request is eligible for processing, the written exchange of documents will start.
First, the board and the person(s) involved are given the opportunity to submit a statement of defence. After that, there will be an opportunity to respond to the submitted defences. Finally, LOWI gives the board and the person(s) involved the opportunity to submit a final response.
At the end of the written round, LOWI examines the file and decides whether a hearing should be held or whether an advice can be given on the basis of the documents. LOWI’s advisory period is six weeks from now on.
As soon as someone such as the petitioner or the interested party is involved in a procedure at LOWI, this person will receive an information sheet from the secretariat with more information about the course of the procedure. For more detailed information about terms and possibilities for extension, please consult the LOWI Regulations (see documents).
A petition can be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com. You can submit a petition yourself or have someone else do it, such as an adviser or legal aid provider. You can only submit a petition to LOWI if you have first gone through the research integrity complaints procedure of the affiliated institution. Your petition must be received by LOWI within 6 weeks of the date of the provisional ruling of the board of the institution. If you are late, your petition will probably be declared inadmissible. This means that LOWI will not assess the substance of your petition. Therefore, keep a close eye on this period.
In any case, a petition must contain:
- your name and address
- date of the request
- your signature
- reasons why you disagree with the preliminary judgment
- the provisional ruling (as appendix)
- the underlying opinion of the Committee (on Research Integrity) (in Dutch: CWI-advies) (as appendix)
- the original complaint, if you have one (as an attachment)
You can use this format letter to submit a request. You can also compose a letter yourself.
You do not have to report to LOWI as an interested party on your own initiative. As soon as LOWI receives a petition, it determines which scientist(s) or other persons should be invited to participate in the procedure as an interested party. These persons will be notified as soon as possible that a request has been submitted to LOWI and they will receive more information about the follow-up to the procedure.
The members and employees of LOWI are bound by a duty of confidentiality.
In addition, a duty of confidentiality applies to everyone who participates in a LOWI-procedure. Everyone refers not only to the parties, but also, for example, to any experts or witnesses in proceedings. More information about the duty of confidentiality can be found in the LOWI Regulations (see documents). If the confidentiality obligation has been violated by the parties, LOWI may decide not to (further) consider the request. If you are in doubt as to whether you can perform a certain act in view of the duty of confidentiality, it is best to contact LOWI in advance.