Codes of Conduct

Alliance for Biomedical Research in Europe Code of Conduct

ECNP also supports the Code of Conduct of the Alliance for Biomedical Research in Europe.

ECNP Code of Conduct

The ECNP Code of Conduct was adopted by the ECNP General Assembly in 2012. The members of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) endorse the following statement of general principles of scientific research and clinical practice for those who participate in the activities of the College.

ECNP is a scientific organisation, whose mission is “To advance the science of the brain, promote better treatment and enhance brain health”. To further this goal, the College convenes Congresses, Seminars, Schools and Workshops and other Meetings; maintains a scholarly journal, website and other communications vehicles; advises public bodies and the media; organises lectures and e-learning programmes; provides opportunities for education and networking for young ECNP members; and conducts other activities and initiatives in the execution of its mission.

To fulfil this mission it is essential that all ECNP members adhere to the highest standard of professional conduct. ECNP insists that the principles of its ethical code of conduct be followed in all of its activities and communications. These include:


Research should be conducted to the highest standards possible, with moral integrity and respect for human dignity and animal welfare. This implies adherence to accepted guidelines of ethical practice, the relevant European regulations and national recommendations, and the appropriate scientific and ethical study approval.

  • Members should commit themselves to uphold the health and well-being of patients and research subjects as the first priority at all times.
  • Consideration should always be given to scrutiny of risks and benefits and clinical best practice where applicable.
  • All research findings should be reported or made available in a timely fashion, fully and honestly, both in the professional literature and in presentations at scientific meetings.
  • When appropriate and possible, members should engage the public, including patient advocate bodies, to promote an informed understanding of mental health mental disorders and disorders of the brain more broadly.
  • Informed consent should always be obtained for any clinical research, according to the highest possible standards, with the responsibility for ensuring that communication of information is well understood.

Clinical practice

The respect, autonomy and confidentiality of patients and research subjects should always be foremost on the agenda of clinicians and researchers.

  • No form of patient exploitation or boundary violation is acceptable in clinical management and research endeavours.
  • Members commit themselves to the ethical imperative of making clear to patients the boundary between research and clinical care.
  • A commitment to ensure the safety of patients and research subjects should guide all contact with patients and the supervision of others.

Professional integrity

Members should dedicate themselves to the highest standards of competence, honesty, professionalism and social and community responsibility and resist any form of discrimination in patient care and research.

  • Members will abide by the legal and regulatory requirements where their efforts and work are located.
  • Ethical publication practice should be maintained, including attention to issues of authorship, disclosure of conflict of interest, reproducibility, credit and acknowledgement, manuscript review and truthful content.
  • Conflict of interest should always be declared in any research or clinical care undertaking, manuscript submission, scientific publication, academic presentation or public information, and any interference undermining professional integrity should be opposed.
  • Appropriate efforts must be made to give due credit to the pertinent prior work of others. Co-authorship must be based upon substantial intellectual contribution.
  • A commitment to ongoing education in the medical sciences is critical to the maintenance and improvement of clinical and research knowledge, skills and overall competence and is therefore expected of all members.
  • Members have a responsibility to act in an atmosphere of co-operation and respect with colleagues and research collaborators.

Being an ECNP member implies that I accept these principles as a standard for my conduct.