Principles & Policies for International Scientific Collaboration

December 2023

Science, by its very nature, transcends national boundaries. International scientific collaboration has  led to great advances in our understanding of our world, our universe, and our shared global challenges. International scientific partnerships enable breakthrough discoveries that help humanity tackle these global challenges. Likewise, international scientific cooperation fosters mutual understanding across political and ideological divisions.

Research provides the best impact when its results are communicated broadly, for the benefit of all. At the same time, participating scientists must balance open scientific cooperation with national security interests. Researchers must also respect intellectual property agreements, local laws and regulations, and be respectful of the rich cultural diversity of the people who conduct research. Consequently, the undersigned national physics societies and international physics organizations call upon their members and upon scientists across the globe to abide by the following principles that are crucial to successful international scientific cooperation:

  • Integrity: Scientists should adhere to the professional values, principles, and best practices that  underpin our research communities and provide the basis for a fair, open, and trusted research  environment. Failure to adhere to these principles imperils the research enterprise and its many  benefits.
  • Transparency: An open science environment requires transparency among all partners.  Scientists should disclose all funding sources, individuals, and organizations involved in their  collaborations, as well as any requirements for the flow of information and documents within  their collaborations, among the participants, and to their governments.
  • Reciprocity: Scientists and institutions should exchange materials, knowledge, data, along  with access to facilities, research sites, and training, in a manner that benefits all collaborating  partners.

Likewise, to realize fully the national benefits of international scientific partnerships, the  undersigned call upon their governments and those who promote policies and practices that  advance international scientific collaboration, to:

  • Enact travel and visa policies that enable scientific interactions between peers and partners
  • Assess policies to ensure that they do not result in unnecessary or unintended barriers to multinational research collaborations
  • Foster opportunities for international research collaboration and exchanges for early career scientists

Lastly, the signatories urge all stakeholders — national governments, research institutions, and  professional societies — to disseminate clear and well-communicated standards that define the responsible conduct of scientific research. Moreover, the signatories encourage all scientists worldwide to not only uphold the principles expressed above, but also to highlight their significance as cornerstones of professional conduct and ethical behavior.

Signatories

American Institute of Physics

American Physical Society

Asociación Física Argentina

Canadian Association of Physicists

Chinese Physical Society

European Physical Society

German Physical Society

Indian Physics Association

Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland

International Union of Pure and Applied Physics

Japan Society of Applied Physics

Netherlands’ Physical Society

Optica (formerly OSA)

The Physical Society of Japan

Sociedade Brasileira de Física

Società Italiana di Fisica

Société Française de Physique

South African Institute of Physics

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