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SPECTRA Ethical Code


Spatial planning as a set of methods and instruments for spatial planning development regulation reflects new requirements for specific dwelling activities as well as socially acknowledged value relations. Its goal is to optimize the spatial structure systems’ developing processes in the sense of their maintenance on local, regional and even upper-regional levels within the integrity of natural sub-systems as well as dwelling sub-systems.

Research on ethical dimension of spatial planning alters also our view on the object itself. It is not the space itself, nor is it the time or time-space but it is the people within time and space their lives society development on the background of natural environment. From the ethical point of view the relevant subject for spatial planning comprises the spatial conditions for living as well as individual and social perception of progressive dynamism of life in the framework of time and space. There is no responsibility for life without responsibility for space.
In recent periods (opposite to the past times), spatial-planning processes point out the following key-problem - “What type of life, what conditions for it and for its development shall be ensured in the growing space scarcity?” The response to this question in the spatial planning is even more complicated because the humane environment, the quality of which is the subject of the problem – does not at all exclusively consist of natural and ecological characteristics. The ethical dimension of spatial planning has been fulfilled by life dignity in its uniqueness as well as individual social economic and natural multiplicity but also in its dimensions of future, presence and past. From this point of view we consider the inter-generation dimension for planning activities, this is the spring for ethical content for development maintenance as a supreme goal for spatial-planning activities.

Efficient and meaningful existence for Central European Spatial Planning Educational and Research Centre (SPECTRA) has been determined by such processes which in each particular phase consider and take into account ethical standards and principles. All co-operators of the Centre are fully aware of this fact and their specialized research pedagogical or expertise activities are built on basic ethical standards.

The ethical code has been co-created by everyday permanent discussions among the Centre co-operators and its application has been permanently evaluated and revised. It should contribute to the fact that in spatial planning branch the process of know how creation and its transfer should reach higher quality not only from the point of view of its expertise and comprehensive dimensions but there is also an attempt to reach its higher complexity not omitting its ethical dimension. The Code reflects the consensus of the members and co-operators of the Centre within the framework of their professional and expertise areas but also within social and communicative ones, as a principal base for their co-existence. It specifies starting points of the Centre’s activities which, at the same time, form their natural regulators.

Its purpose is also to concentrate the Centre’s co-operators more on ethical aspects of their own activities. At the same time, it should encourage them to critically overvalue both their own activities as well as those of the Centre, not only from the professional point of view but also from the social and ethical points of view. In the branch of spatial planning the processes of know how creation and its distribution contain a number of ethical obstacles and therefore it is absolutely inevitable to anticipate such situations that may lead to rights violation of any of participating parties.

At the same time, this ethical code is to constitute a certain form of stabilizer and a protective shield against maybe exaggerated expectations on the side of targeted public or any other components of external auditorium concerning the Centre’s activities and outputs, especially in the advisory and expertise fields. In that way, it excludes possible social and ethical conflicts that may emerge during the results’ application processes in everyday life.

To achieve the principal goals of the Centre in their maximal efficiency, that have been specified in its Corporate Mission, the Centre members have worked out and fully support the following ethical code.

I. Scientific and Research Activities

1. All co-operators of the Centre attempt to keep to principles of integrity and matter-of-facts concerning not only their scientific and research activities but also those of practical application. They support well-established standards procedures and methods but at the same time they not at all hinder to any kind of their progressive development or methods. In the case they express specific scientific conclusions and judgements, they are obliged to exploit the latest scientific outputs procedures and methods by utilizing the clear as well as proper forms respectively.

2. For the purpose of research outputs presentation or publication, these should be mediated as precisely as possible without any misinterpretation. Each particular specific theory method or research procedure aspects that are inevitable for research outputs evaluation shall be declared as to their utmost goodwill.

3. The Centre co-operators should state the precise goal of their research all circumstances for its realization as well as a targeted research subscriber. They guarantee the fact that the research outputs shall not be misused by specific nor individual interests of the targeted subscriber and thus they shall not lose their general scientific value and validity.
4. The Centre co-operators are obliged to enable public access to their scientific and research activity outputs. All such cases when by output publicizing the intellectual property rights or personal data protection might be violated – are excluded.

5. In cases when it is inevitable to keep secrecy, the Centre co-operators do their best to be loyal to the public to the maximum possible extent.

6. In the case the research and scientific task of the Centre requires establishment of a both internal and external co-operators these, in advance, shall be acquainted with distribution of their professional tasks and duties copy rights all guidelines concerning data handling as well as conditions for output publication.

7. In the area of spatial planning, all the co-operators of the Centre are socially responsible within the frameworks of processes of know how creation and its transfer. Their scientific and research outputs and practical applications might significantly influence their co-citizens’ lives. They should be well aware of this responsibility and adequately handle all the data outputs and proposals for district-planning decisions.

8. The Management of the Centre shall not accept any scientific nor research contract that might be in contradiction with the principles which have been included in this particular ethical code.

II. Publishing Activities

1. The co-operators of the Centre are to announce all persons or data which would contribute to research outputs. The ranking of submitted sources should reflect particular authors´ and resource shares in successful research outputs.

2. All the data or material coming from outer sources shall be definitely and clearly quoted. Ideas that have been developed by other authors, shall not be used by the Centre co-operators without announcing the particular source of origin.

3. All publications either edited or co-edited by the Centre should support the critical arguments and share of opinions. Rules that would provide other authors with chances to express their points of view should be complied with as well as specify their opportunities for scientific critical standpoints.

4. Publishers of journals or other publications edited by the Centre assess each particular contribution with absolute independence and without any personal or ideological prejudices. They shall provide a prompt and complete information concerning each particular contribution decisions.

5. Promise to publish an article or a publication is obligatory for the co-operators of the Centre. It means that in the case an article of particular author had been approved of, he shall be informed on details concerning the period and spot of publication as soon as possible.

III. Assessments and Expertise Activities

1. In the case co-operators of the Centre are required to provide assessments and evaluations of any types of projects publications manuscripts research results requests, etc. these shall be done in a way that would exclude conflict of interests.

2. All projects publications manuscripts proposals requests shall be assessed completely carefully confidentially and within a suitable period of time.

3. All assessments and references that are closely connected with personal decisions shall be conceived as confidential by all evaluators in charge. Integrity confidentiality impartiality and fairness on the side of evaluators shall be highly prioritized. Committee members shall be elected following these criteria.

4. The Centre co-operators should follow the rules of fairness integrity and scientific impartiality also in the case of submitting reviews assessments or any other expertise standpoints. In the case any of them either directly or indirectly participated in a document to-be-assessed, it should be fair to refuse its assessment.

5. The Centre co-operators shall not assess such projects realizations or other district-planning decisions that have either direct or indirect financial impact on them.

IV. Approach towards Students Colleagues and the General Public

1. The co-operators of the Centre participate in the process of knowledge as well as know how spread. By the way of their performance they follow the principal goal of the above mentioned process – knowledge and skill acquirement on the side of their audience.

2. The Centre co-operators do their best while providing references expertise activities arbitrary processes or competitions and they follow the criteria of expertise and fairness towards all participants. No participant is allowed to be discriminated because of his / her age sex physical disability social or regional origin, ethnic or nationality nor his / her political views.

3. The Centre co-operators shall not misuse other authors´ outputs within their own pedagogical or expertise activities.

4. The Centre co-operators shall not misuse those data that have gained access to during their research and expertise activities from their students colleagues or external partners.

5. The Centre co-operators look upon the general public as their partner at arbitrary decisions. That is why they follow the principles of transparency fairness integrity as well as moral quality of submitted solutions.

This Ethical Code becomes valid on 20-th June 2003 after being approved of by the Centre Management.