Scientific fraud

A few months ago, I read in a Belgian newspaper that 9% of the participants in a study among 2.000 American scientists said they had witnessed scientific fraud within the past three years. And it seems they were not talking about those cases where people use Photoshop to crop an image or so, but rather inventing fake results or falsifying articles.

Although I wasn’t able to find this back on the web with Google, I am quite sure the original authors checked the number. Wikipedia reports on another study, where the actual number was 3%. Anyhow, whether it is 3 or 9 percent, this number is much too high. Let us hope it can be taken down by requiring higher reproducibility of our research work. I do realize that there will always be people cheating, and falsifying results (Wikipedia even keeps a list of the most famous cases). But I also strongly believe that in the end, most researchers just want to do good work. And many of them perform non-reproducible work, just because they don’t feel the need for making it reproducible (yet). Or are too busy with their next piece of work to properly finish off the current one…

1 thought on “Scientific fraud

  1. Koninckx

    Manipulation of data is much more common than overall believed. Besides pure fraud, manipulation takes many forms, such as adding to abstracts or titles words not supported by the data in order to increase the probability to be picked up during searches. A second problem are the journals (many online) with poor reviewing and withotu the possiblity to send letters to the editor.

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