France to Require Ph.D. Students to Take an Oath of Research Ethics

As required by a 2020 law in France, starting this fall, 2022, it will be mandatory for researchers in all fields once they enrol in their Ph.D.s or renewing their Ph.D. enrolment to take the new oath of research ethics. This law covers all disciplines whether biology, information technology, history, physics, or astronomy.  All students in France who will take up any doctoral degree are now mandated to take an oath of research integrity prior to enrolment and upon successfully defending their research papers, hence, students will twice take the oath and it’s the first of its kind in the world.

French scientists and elsewhere in the world, as reported by, believe that this initiative will prevent research misconduct.  It is believed that the oath is a symbolic step towards the right direction.  

The office who will supervise this law is the French Office for Research Integrity (OFIS) who also helped draft the oath. OFIS said that this research integrity initiative will promote honest and trustworthy researches.  OFIS shall coordinate with all universities in France in running and naming a panel who will examine alleged abuses and misconduct regarding this initiative.

Though the wordings of the actual oath of research ethics is not yet officially out, OFIS shared some lines,

I pledge, to the greatest of my ability, to continue to maintain integrity in my relationship to knowledge, to my methods and to my results

The new law mandating all Ph.D. students to take an oath of research integrity is not punitive which is similar to the Hippocratic Oath for medical doctors.  Despite not being punitive, the law, according to researchers, will strengthen professionalism and integrity in research.

Researchers around the world have varied reactions about this Oath of Research Ethics in France as pointed out by Rabesandratana (2022). But in the end, most scientists believe that this iniative will bring good results rather than bad ones. Should this be emulated by all universities around the world?


Rabesandratana, Tania. July 13, 2022. France will require Ph.D.s to take a research ethics oath. Retrieved from

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