Scholarly Integrity

Research Misconduct Case from ORI

I have selected a research misconduct case from ORI website and I want to explain it in this blog.

I do not like to mention the name of the person who had misconduct, because I believe that it is not ethical. I cannot understand why ORI mention the name of the individuals.

The misconduct in this blog happened at University of Oregon, Eugene. A graduate student at this university falsified and fabricated data in his four publications.  This case was a little strange for me, because he could publish his papers in well-known journals like: Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Psychological Science.

This student removed the outlier values of his data and produced some results. He faced to some restrictions after this misconduct. He also accepted to correct his publications.

I agree that ORI should consider some penalties for him, but I have a big question in my mind. The editors and journal reviewers could find this misconduct earlier. I mean that I believe that it is the responsibility of editors and reviewers to find it before publishing his papers.

His falsifications were:

  1. “Figures 3E and 3F in Paper 4Figures 4 and 8 in Paper 1
  2. Figures 3C, 3D, and 3E in Paper 2
  3. Figures 3B, 7C, 7D, and 8B in Paper 3
  4. Figures 3E and 3F in Paper 4”

These falsifications could be found by reviewers easily, because they were expert in his area and could understand that these figures had some problems.

In conclusion, I should say that ORI needed to establish some rules to penalize the reviewers of these journals as well.


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