The month’s round up starts with news that an HIV scientist from Iowa State University is sentenced to prison and ordered to repay more than $7 million to the US National Institutes of Health. The scientist admitted he faked results in AIDS vaccine experiments, whose supposed success drew up to $20 million in extra federal grants. Hopefully this will act as a deterrent to others.
Detecting fake data is a difficult undertaking. John Carlisle gives practical advice about screening for non-random (ie, unreliable) data in randomized controlled trials submitted to journals.
An investigation by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, National Center for Scientific Research) established the existence of deliberate chart/diagram manipulations by Olivier Vionnet. This involved modifications and duplications of diagrams/charts or erroneous captions. The CNRS concludes that “Such inappropriate presentation of experimental data, however, does not amount to fabrication”.
Concerns about fake peer reviewers continue. After a detailed investigation, Hindawi identified three editors who created fraudulent accounts.
More positive news items are about sharing data from clinical trials, publication of negative trial results and improved incentives to ensure research integrity.
And finally, COPE is conducting a survey of its members. Watch out for the email appearing in your inbox soon.
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