NSF OIG Reports on Research Misconduct Investigations

NSF OIG Reports on Research Misconduct Investigations

Jun 03, 2014
Seal of the National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General

In the March 2014 Semiannual Report to Congress, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports on a series of misconduct investigations, involving data falsification and fabrication, and plagiarism (starting on page 21).

Of interest is one case wherein a Colorado university found that a postdoc had fabricated data, but as the postdoc was no longer an employee, the university could not take any action against him.  The mentor, however, used the postdoc's data over several years "...despite mounting evidence of research misconduct presented by lab members and other faculty members."   Further, the mentor failed to require lab notebooks or to maintain instrument data in his lab.  The university found, and the NSF OIG agreed, that the mentor was "..."reckelss in his use of highly suspect data" in the face of the "loud chorus of voices challenging the original work."" The university committee recommended eight publications be retracted and the mentor receive training in scientific laboratory protocols. 

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