Talk:Scientific misconduct

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Climate Change and Global Warming Data Falsification[edit]

I am indifferent in the conversation about these two topics and await more evidence from both sides. Already I see truth from both sides that keeps me near the middle. But I must ask: Has someone or some entity made efforts to keep any of the fraud/data falsification concerning climate change out of this Wiki? I truly find it odd that I am the first one to point this out. Anyone? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.25.232.161 (talk) 05:36, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Jan Hendrik Schoen[edit]

nevermind =p it is listed

Gupta[edit]

Could someone write an article about paleontologist Gupta? He falsified fossils for tens of years and nevertheles retired from his position in India without any serious punishment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nuinu (talkcontribs) 22:05, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Jacques Benveniste[edit]

Also removed from the article:

*Jacques Benveniste and the memory of water, a theory to support homeopathy.

As far as I know, no-one has alleged scientific misconduct here. They disagree with him, they dismiss his results, but they are not accusing him of fraud. -- Karada 08:51, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Yes, there is insufficient evidence to claim the Jacques Benveniste committed fraud in his water memory research. However, he did appear to be at least incompetent and committed serious breaches of basic scientific method -- and that should still leave him open to charges of misconduct. After all, not all misconduct involves deliberate falsification. I think we should have a link about him in the main article, perhaps with a qualifying note. -- FirstPrinciples 02:04, Oct 17, 2004 (UTC)

Planet X[edit]

I cannot see why "Planet X" was on this list. I know that mistakes where made in the initiation of the search for it. However, those mistakes were made in good faith. Lowell thought that he saw something siginificant. --EMS | Talk 18:40, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Re addition of Little Albert[edit]

John B. Watson's Little Albert experiment has been added to the list of cases of misconduct. I am not wholly familiar with the case but I have the impression that the objections to this experiment were primarily ethical as opposed to methodological. Is this a distinction we need to make? unethical research (mengele et al.) versus scientific misconduct/fraudulent claims. It is possible to posit a situation where a scientifically valid result was obtained unethically. Just such a case has been argued with regard to Nazi hypothermia experiments on Russian POWs. (I am aware that there are all kinds of issues here I am just raising the question) --Sf 13:48, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. I considered breaking out separate lists (subsections) before, because there are other cases already that shouldn't go into the same list. The Sokal affair affair, for instance, was about a scientist who tricked a journal to expose their lack of scientific rigor. Some cases are clear-cut proven plagiarism or fraud, some are generally thought to have been honest, stupid mistakes, for some there's an ongoing controversy about the claims made. Notably absent from the current page are people like Gregor Mendel who are suspected (in some cases known) to have tuned their data in order to make them fit their theory, or established scientists who used their clout to write their competition out of science history. But I digress. Can we come up with a decent classification? Rl 14:11, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Piltdown Man[edit]

I have removed the Piltdown Man. The story qualifies better as a hoax. Pilatus 17:54, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree with your judgement. However, I would have preferred to keep the link around, maybe in a separate section (or just "See also"). The Piltdown man is related, after all. Rl 18:04, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Incompetence[edit]

Perhaps scientific incompetence should be added to the list? I'm not talking about ordinary experimental error, but gross failure to abide by scientific protocols and practice--even if inadvertent. Perhaps someone could create that article?

Leo A. Paquette[edit]

I have removed Leo A. Paquette from the list "Cases of alleged scientific misconduct and related incidents" (he had been added today). Reasoning:

  • Unlike most if not all other cases in that list, Paquette is most remarkable not for misconduct, but for his achievements. So just putting him down on the list without an article to explain the facts doesn't seem right.
  • After some searching, I could find a source implying that he or someone under his responsibility plagiarized sections of the research design for a grant application. This was bad and had consequences, but it is clearly not in the league of issues we are documenting here. It should be mentioned in his own article when he gets one, it might fit a separate (and very long) list of minor cases of alleged scientific misconduct and related incidents, but at least based on that incident does not belong here.

Algae 09:14, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

The article 'Scientific misconduct' does not distinguish between minor misconduct and those that seem to fit an arbitrary definition as to what the major misconduct listed here is. Leo Paquette's contributions to the field are truly full of merit, but his plagiarism was unethical and an act of misconduct. If you would like to produce an article on Dr. Paquette’s accomplishments, by all means, but it doesn’t dismiss the finding of misconduct and the 2 years of suspended funding he received as reprimand. Indeed, the article partly DEFINES Scientific misconduct as Plagiarism
Jgassens 18:12, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I won't let myself get pulled into a revert war, so I let it rest. However, I totally dispute your reasoning and stand by what I said. By all means, write an article about this guy and document all the bad things he did, but this page here should list major cases and not all the thousands of minor incidents. And by the way, allegations like these should always be documented – but so far I am the only one to offer a source.
We need a category for these folks, so we can add it to your article on Leo A. Paquette and keep only the major, exemplary, well-known cases in this article. Algae 19:24, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to have to agree. There's simply too many cases of minor misconduct to list, and they're not sufficiently notable for inclusion, especially with the preponderance of major cases that are available for discussion. Deco 20:06, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I just don't see the dilution of the offense meaningful here to protect someone on the basis of their accolades. I don't mean to indict his character, but willfully plagiarizing a document you receive, which you received on the basis you would not disclose the contents of, is nothing less than fraud. When then conclusion is: "NSF's General Counsel has stated Paquette "poses too great a business risk to receive government funding."[1] one cannot disagree fraud was committed. I agree Paquette's contribution to the field has been immense; however per any definition of 'misconduct' he did indeed do it. Hopefully, his actions will discourage others from doing the same thing. Jgassens 15:43, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for providing sources. – You assume that we are trying to protect Paquette. Well, I do think it's unfair to list someone who cheated once among others who have based their entire career and reputation on lies, especially when there are no further explanations within WP. Much more importantly, however, that is an important disctinction for the reader. As a reader, I would expect to find a short list of important cases and an extra article or a category if I was interested in an exhaustive list. Algae 16:22, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Category for people involved in scientific misconduct[edit]

The closest I found is Category:Scientific scandals. A select few of our friends here are already members of that category. Do we add the rest there as well, or can anyone think of a better category name? Category:People involved in scientific misconduct seems a bit long. Algae 16:29, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I would agree on a good category for listing these cases. Actually, I just put up the Category:Scientific hoaxes for deletion, since it contained links to weird science, scientific fraud and to silly jokes without them having anything really in common. Perhaps Category:Cases of scientific misconduct is an idea? Cpt. Morgan 21:26, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
It seems a bit odd if articles on people are tagged as cases of scientific misconduct, but it's good enough as far as I am concerned. If a better idea comes up, we can still move the pages to a new category. Algae 21:01, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd actually go for "People involved in scientific misconduct" if it weren't so vague. Maybe "Scientists accused of misconduct" or something like that - this has the added benefit that it doesn't make a judgement of innocence or guilt, so that it's less inflammatory. Deco 21:44, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Works for me, too. What about articles like Piltdown Man or Retracted article on neurotoxicity of ecstasy that are not about people? Maybe simply Category:Scientific misconduct? Algae 22:18, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Deco 22:52, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I created and populated Category:Scientific misconduct. We should look into related categories, Category:Scientific hoaxes and Category:Scientific scandals to see how they relate. Algae 10:40, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I do not think that scientists who did some minor plagiarization that may be unintentional should be in the same category as scientists who committed data fabrication which is from a general public/public interest perspective far more serious. I propose to create sub categories of Category:Scientific misconduct i.e. category:scientific plagiarism, category:scientific data manipulation, category:scientific data fabrication. Andries (talk) 11:20, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

With the categories Category:Scientific hoaxes, Category:Scientific scandals, Category:Scientific misconduct and Category:Scientific_skepticism all present, do we still need the mixed list of (suspected) culprits in this article? Cpt. Morgan 18:26, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

The list here serves to summarize the acts of misconduct. It could reasonably be moved out to a list, if it were long enough, but not a category. Deco 21:39, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
The list provides (or can provide) some benefits the category doesn't offer: a) For starters, not all items on the list in the article are in the category. Not all of them fit the article to begin with, so they are not in the category, either. The article has more leeway for explaining why related articles are mentioned even though they don't really fit. b) The list could offer a break-down of the more important cases, sorted by type of incident, with short additional info like discipline, year, or impact. Categories cannot qualify their many entries.
I agree the list leaves to desire in its current form, but I'd prefer to keep it after some improvement (in a separate article if it gets too long). Algae 22:21, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I think it is time the list is moved to another article. Andries (talk) 11:20, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Shinichi Fujimura[edit]

I noticed that Shinichi Fujimura, a noted Japanese amateur archaeologist who planted his finds and was exposed in 2000, is not listed in this article. Should it be added into the list of cases?

Yes, please go ahead and add it. That was a pretty major case. Thanks for pointing it out. Algae 17:59, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Sokal Affair?[edit]

Should the Sokal affair be considered misconduct? Sokal announced that the article in question was a hoax on the day it was published; and never intended for it to become part of the body of knowledge. Instead, his hoax was intended as a pointed criticism of so-called postmodernism (aside: the whole pomo debate is unfortunate; it would be nice if both the scientific community and their critics in the "lit crit" crowd would just shut up and listen to each other). On what grounds is it "misconduct"? Is the mere act of hoodwinking the editors of a journal (i.e. submitting an article in bad faith) sufficient to label the Sokal affair as such? Sokal has not been subject to any formal discipline or censure in the matter, that I'm aware of. --EngineerScotty 20:14, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I fully agree. I'm not sure how it relates to scientific misconduct, but it most certainly doesn't belong into that list. Algae 21:23, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Suppression/non-publication of data[edit]

I have rewritten parts of this section because it was misleading. I'm not proud of my prose, but I hope it makes the issue clear. Algae 21:23, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Photo Manipulation[edit]

I created a photo manipulation stub regarding the recent efforts at the Journal of Cell Biology to prevent fraud via photo manipulation (see [2]) I'd appreciate if others could help develop it. JianLi 23:57, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Koren Olivieri[edit]

Removed. It doesn't fit the category. This is not a clear-cut case appropriate to this article, despite media blitz in past. Beware of all that hype of several years ago. More recent coverage, this year in MacLean's and in Dr. Miriam Shuchman's book, "The Trial", for example, now calls into question not only Olivieri's whistle-blowing, but her science and her professional behavior, as well, with regard to this affair and beyond. I'd be careful of coming down on either side, in any article. Koren's continuing achievements and contributions in his field appear to far outweigh his poor personal judgment in the thick of this dispute. These recent sources claim that his science in this case may indeed be standing the test of time. 80.178.140.110 03:01, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Ward Churchill[edit]

Perhaps he wasn't guilty of scientific misconduct; he's not a scientist, after all. Churchill has been found to have engaged in numerous other sorts of academic dishonesy, including both fabrication and plagiarism, but in the context of historical rather than scientific study.

Thoughts? --EngineerScotty 00:12, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I am very much in favor of having separate pages for separate concepts. For the subject at hand, however, I don't see the benefit of making a difference between scientists and other academics. If the name of the page is a problem, we can switch to research misconduct because that is the allegation put forward in Ward Churchill's case. Or we can be more inclusive and name it scientific & research & scholarly misconduct & fraud & scandals & allegations which would cover even more of the cases that are actually listed on the page. I'd be interested in hearing Fastfission's reasoning and suggestion for where to put Wallace, if not here. Rl 07:02, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Robert Gallo[edit]

This was added to the article 12:05, 8 September 2006 by 69.242.204.63:

Robert Gallo, the so-called discover of HIV should be added to this list as he stoled speciemens from the French and claimed them for his own. He stood before the world and it was announced that the "probable" cause of Aids was found. The probable was dropped and the very next day, Robert Gallo filled for a patent for this bogus test. He was later reprimanded by a scientific ethics committee. Hiv has never been scientifically proven to cause Aids. HIV —violates Koch Postulates, the golden rules of medicine.

Sounds... dubious. No evidence offered. Rl 10:25, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

The French and US government had to get involved over patent rights. Rightfully so, since the French had discovered the virus. HIV does not fill Koch Prostulates in that 1) the virus must be ever present in the fluids of the person, it is not. Chemical have to be added and a DNA or what is termed PCR test must be used to even locate the shadows. 2) the virus must be in 100% of cases, it is not. There are HIV- cases of Aids 3)the virus must be given to an animal species and the anmial must get Aids. This has not happened in over twenty some years.69.242.204.63 10:43, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

This certainly would not be considered an example of scientific misconduct by the scientific community in general, since the number of scientists that question the HIV/AIDS link is very small. Also, we already have an article just about that subject: AIDS reappraisal. --Cpt. Morgan (Reinoutr) 11:39, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Certainly over 2,000 scientist, medical and highly educated professionals could not be considered a small number. When the inventor of the DNA (PCR) Test, Dr. Kary Mullis states that it should not be used for HIV and the inventor of a cancer drug, AZT, in 1961 by Dr. Richard Beltz which is now being used for Aids, stated in 2000: you are justified in sounding a warning against long-term therapeutic use of AZT, or its use in pregnant women because of its demonstrated toxicity and side effects.... Your effort is worthy one..I hope you succeed in convincing your govenment not to make AZT available, a logical conclusion is that something is very wrong here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Noreen martin (talkcontribs) 12:08, 8 September 2006

I am not contending the opinion by HIV critics here (and will not go into that discussion at this point). What I am saying is that the majority of the scientific community does not consider Gallo's experiments scientific misconduct, so it should not be included here. Wikipedia surely gives a lot of attention to the whole discussion in other articles, see for example AIDS reappraisal and Duesberg hypothesis. --Cpt. Morgan (Reinoutr) 12:36, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Dear Wikipedians,It is clear to me that the case of Robert Gallo should be tackled in this article ...but not for the reasons previously mentioned which ,in fact ,obfuscate the real debate .Robert Gallo's case IS central to this article ; just browse ORI,OSI, House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations headed by Rep John Dingell, John Crewdson....By the way,wouldn't it be useful to insert in the article comments on the change concerning these definitions :

"Misconduct" or "Misconduct in Science" means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.(In 1989 the Federal Register (Public Health Act, Vol. 18, No. 30, 1 September, p. 6) )

Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Research misconduct does not include honest errors or differences of opinion. A finding of research misconduct requires that there be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community, and the misconduct be committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly, and the allegations be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. [Federal Register 2004; italics added]( Federal Register's recent reformulation -2004-) [It was already following a reformulation of what scientific misconduct is and and how it should be punished that ORI decided to let it down with the Gallo case ...Whereas ORI had previously ascertained that Gallo was responsible of scientific misconduct ]Trente7cinq (talk) 15:34, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Definition of scientific fraud[edit]

  • Ask most scientists about scientific fraud and they will readily tell you what it is. The most extreme cases are obvious: manufacturing data and altering experimental results. Then there is plagiarism: using someone else's text or data without acknowledgement. More difficult are the borderline cases: minor fudging of data, reporting only the good results and not citing other people's work that should be given credit. Because obvious fraud is thought to be both rare and extremely serious, the normal idea is that it warrants serious penalties. Brian Martin Published in Prometheus, Vol. 10, No. 1, June 1992, pp. 83-98.

Should this go in the article? --Uncle Ed 18:57, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Dulbecco's law (RfC)[edit]

So we don't committ bad ol' OR, here is an example of "Dulbecco's law" used in a university lecture on science fraud at the University of Copenhagen. I used to hear about it all the time as a grad student.Pproctor 19:56, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

The fact that it is difficult to find cites to Dulbecco's law on the net does not mean it does not exist, or that such do not exist in the published literature, as the authoritative cite shows.
Also see here sample quote: "His primary criticism: Wikipedia has “a small set of content generators, a massive amount of wonks and twiddlers, and then a heaping amount of procedural whackjobs”—and the larger groups mean content generators “have to become content defenders,” defending their expert text against changes from a larger group of people with no expertise in the subject." Ya have to fight Larry Sangers "Fools and Trolls" you find them. Otherwise, they will harass the "small set of content generators" right off Wikipedia.Pproctor 00:44, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I suggest you take a moment to realize that – especially on pages like these – you are not the only editor with academic credentials. You are an MD, so your claims regarding Dulbecco's law are not within your area of expertise. And even if you were an expert in the sociology of science, you'd still have to cite decent evidence for your claims like everybody else and like you do whenever you write scientific articles. The sources you offered (and the ones I found myself) make it appear that the term is obscure, maybe a local phenomenon with no authoritative or accepted definition. I realize how frustrating that must be for you if you a term from your daily work, but what you're doing really amounts to original research, and not of the most solid kind. Rl 23:27, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Wrong. I'm and MD and a PhD, a point I have made repeatedly. In fact, was a PhD, long before a physician. I even mentioned I had heard this expression in graduate school. Clue: Grad school produces PhD's (my case-- biophysics/pharmacology), medical school produces MD's. So I know how this world works. Anyway, my expertise doesn't count here except that I know the literature. I have produced a valid cite. This is true even if you have not the knowledge or experience to recognize it as such. That is what "expertise" means on Wikipedia-- now it is your turn.
The citation is not obscure or local. E.g., the expression "Dulbecco's law" is in English, not Danish-- so why is a professor in a Danish University talking about it? Just maybe, it is general. Moreover, it is literally "doctrine", meaning "that which is taught". In fact, your assertion is classic "Original Research", which you seem so ready to accuse everyone else of. At least be consistent. Wikipedia is not a Chinese buffet.
Simply-stated: The professor is an expert on science fraud at a Danish university. The Lancet article (there is a link to it in the article, so you can read it yourself) indicates the Danes are world leaders in the matter of Science fraud. In fact, the rest of the Scandinavian Countries took their lead from the Danes and likewise much of the rest of the world is influenced by the Danish experience.Pproctor 06:23, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
We cannot simply take your word that you've "heard this expression in graduate school" and it's "not obscure or local." You've got to establish its notability. A one-sentence definition in someone's Powerpoint presentation is poor evidence that the phrase is as notable as you say. TomTheHand 19:41, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
You misrepresent. To give some perspective, I say here on the talk page that I have heard this expression for the last few decades. Following WK:NOR, I then give a cite on scientific misconduct, the subject of this article, which not only uses "Dulbeccos law", but defines it in relation to scientific misconduct. "Dulbeccos law" is not the subject of this article, so "notability" is not an issue. Not that it is not notable, just that this is not an issue here. Besides, somehow, I get the impression that no matter what cite I came up with, you would find some objection to it.Pproctor 02:32, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Notability is an issue here and everywhere on Wikipedia. If "Dulbecco's law" is not notable, then it should not be mentioned on Wikipedia. As far as sourcing goes, I'd like to remind you that you've only come up with one source: a single-sentence mention in someone's lecture. I feel that that source insufficiently shows the law's notability, and if it's notable you can find either more or better sources. I don't know where you get the impression that I shoot sources down like crazy for illegitimate reasons. TomTheHand 12:05, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

An old and a recent example of scientific fraud. written by this author at this instutution which specifically-defines "Dulbecco's Law" is not a sufficient source? It would be in any review article I know. It always astounds me what people come up with on Wikipedia...Pproctor 16:21, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

That's what I said. A one-sentence definition mentioned in passing in someone's Powerpoint presentation is insufficient assertion of notability. If the law is notable, you can do better. Not every piece of verifiable information is notable enough for inclusion. Per Wikipedia's notability guidelines, "A notable topic has been the subject of multiple non-trivial published works that are reliable and independent of the subject." TomTheHand 16:56, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Er, IIRC, "notability" is a only a criteria for establishing a separate article, particularly a bio. Been there, done that. I don't have time or inclination to fight that fight right now WRT "Dulbecco's law". I haven't looked recently, but I do not recall "notability" required for the content of another article such as Science misconduct, NPOV and verifiability being met, naturally.Pproctor 17:52, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
While it's true that notability guidelines are for separate articles, if it's an obscure phrase then it really isn't worth including. If it's not obscure then it should be possible to find information about it. I think the way to go here is probably by determining consensus on whether Dulbecco's law should be mentioned, rather than you and I continuing to duke it out over this. I'll post a request on RFC. TomTheHand 18:04, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I have come here from the RfC page (I just put in a request for comment on the Electroconvulsive therapy article and thought, in fairness, I should respond to one and yours looked a bit more interesting than Decapitation and Adolescent sexual behaviour). I don't think it is in keeping with Wiki guidelines to discuss something that hasn't been published and it doesn't look as if the lecture has been published. On the other hand, if there has been even just one published mention of Dulbecco's Law....Staug73 16:05, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm shocked that this issue could possibly be more interesting than Decapitation Adolescent sexual behaviour ;-) I think there's reasonable consensus that Dulbecco's law is insufficiently sourced and it should be possible to find published mentions. I'm removing pending better sourcing. TomTheHand 19:50, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Consensus? Where? The cite I give is perfectly good and, as I note above, is the online version of a university lecture on science fraud. BTW, you may not be aware, but these days many scientific publications do not appear except on-line.Pproctor 02:52, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

It is unfortunate that we have to rehash these old arguments again. The cite is not perfectly good. Some may be concerned because it was not published in a peer reviewed journal (neither paper nor online), but what I personally care about is the fact that there aren't more sources. It is a claimed definition of science lingo, so I accept it may well not appear in many articles. But it would have to appear somewhere, like in blogs. But blogs and articles all refer to the "Matthew effect in science" instead. Rl 07:57, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I have placed a notice about this discussion over on Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Maths, science, and technology. When I posted the article on Dulbecco's law, there were several on-line references on Google in addition to the lecture I posted, but these seem to have disappeared. It may be posted, but in a non-indexible form such as "old" pdf. Outside computor-related stuff, most things from before about 1995 are. E.g., the "citation amnesia" links in this very article.
A minimal on-line presence does not mean much in some areas. Remember, this is "folk-wisdom", a la List of medical abbreviations. These are well-known, but mostly listed nowhere on-line and probably in no easily-accessible book, though they do get hauled out in the doctor shows <Grin>. Yet I see no NOR objections being raised. If they were, the article would largely disappear.
In contrast, I give a perfectly good cite to a published university lecture from a recognized expert on the sociology of scientific research who precisely defines Dulbecco's law in the context of Scientific misconduct.
A reasonable rule of thumb for NOR is whether something would be a legitimate cite in a review article on the subject. This citation would be. In contrast, other things acceptible here ( such as newspaper articles ) for "verifiability" generally would not be proper citations in a formal review.Pproctor 18:50, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Re: Consensus

User talk:Jimbo Wales "Consensus is not a vote, or an appeal to popularity. 100 people citing WP:FRINGE derived references versus 1 person citing recognised impartial authorities (do I need mention Flat Earth vs. accepted scientific authority?) will result in the consensus going with the one. No consensus will result if both parties find good authorative sources to back their contention/interpretation. Unless an admin or 'crat can find a third authority which has already weighed the two arguments and has come up with a definitive answer then that admin/'crat must come to the verdict of no consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, then WP:NPOV demands that both viewpoints, properly referenced, should be included in an article. Where the existence of the article itself in debate, and an admin cannot decide on the consensus, then it probably needs to be taken to whichever area of dispute is appropriate and examined there. Again, this may not bring about a definitive result but that is always a possibility with a wiki. In the end, take issue to every forum possible until the processes are exhausted. If there is still no consensus then there is unlikely to be one. Admins are part of the process, and not an entity that decides upon it. Being more or less brave is not part of the remit.LessHeard vanU 08:37, 13 May 2007 (UTC)"Pproctor 02:11, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Improper assignment of Discovery credit[edit]

As far as I see this artcile is about scientific misconduct and the disputed section "Improper credit can also be inadvertently-assigned." is rather a side remark and not really central to the article itself.Tikiwont 10:28, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

There is a spectrum here. E.g., what if improper discovery credit is assiged because the recipient himself has not seen fit to assign proper credit. Such citation amnesia is arguably the most common type of science fraud.Pproctor 18:05, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, I would just focus first on the contribution on the Emmeche presentation to the main topic of this article since both treat mainly scientific fraud. It seems to me, that the current article introduction has taken some inspiration from there, but it is not (yet) cited as reference, and I’d say an article mentioning citation amnesia should aim at the highest standards here (also on the formal level). If this presentation is considered a good source for the main topic it should be cited. If it is not considered a good source on Scientific misconduct, it cannot serve as citation for a on-line mention of some Dubbecco’s law. Obviously, also the current article introduction should then be cited differently or rewritten.

If it stays inside, it should simply link to a place in wikipedia where the phenomen is explained further and Matthew_effect#Sociology seems to be doing precisley that. In the fraud article itself there is no need to add an additional external link, just because there may also be a diferent name. If more than the current sources could be found, one may discusss if Matthew_effect#Sociology should indicate Dulbecco's law as a common alternate name or have it redirect there, but here we're just disgressing.--Tikiwont 10:28, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

First, the Matthew effect is general. Dulbecco's law is the special case with respect to scientific discovery. Likewise, the university lecture on science fraud I give a link to includes improper (even if inadvertant) misassignment of discovery credit. So its seem appropriate to also do so here.Pproctor
Please double check the section I was referring to and don’t get attached to words:
  • Dulbeccos Law: “Credit for a scientific discovery generally goes to the most famous, not the first, discoverer”
  • Matthew effect: “Eminent scientists will often get more credit than a comparatively unknown researcher even if their work is similar; it also means that credit will usually be given to researchers who are already famous”

In his presentation Emmeche refers to this phenomenon as Dulbecco’s Law, but the name doesn’t really matter so much, as he immediately explains the meaning. The current wikipedia refers to it as Matthew effect, offering a wikilink to explore the meaning. Adding a second name or a different meaning in the main text would just be confusing and its notability should not be discussed here. Possible alternative names such as Dulbecco’s Law or variants of the concept itself should all be addressed in the respective main article’s discussion taking into account this AfD discussion.

If the Emmeche presentation is already a properly cited viable source for Scientific misconduct, the article itself should still lead to the relavnt wiki section of Matthew effect section, but I would the see no harm in mentioning in a foot note that the quoted author refers to the phenomenon as Dulbecco effect.

I will try out this solution, simply to better source the current artcile version, pending consensus. Please post concise comments (hear who is talking ;-)) below.

Finally, if the whole idea of credit going to the already famous has merit, it might be self-verifying and has probably been discovered first by some now unknown person.

Simply stated: The Matthew effect is the general rule, and covers such things as "The rich get richer". The latter obviously has nothing to do with basic scientific research<grin>. Dulbecco's law is a restatement of the Matthew effect relative to credit for scientific discoveries. Which is why I make an issue about it.
Also, by the usual and customary rules as I understand them (and I have been forced to become something of an (er) expert<G> on Wikipedia:concensus and what it is not), claims of a concensus here are rather premature. But that is a discussion for another time and one we can hopefully avoid.Pproctor 03:22, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
No claim on consensus was intendent from my side. Below section is intendent to gather opinions where we stand with refenence to assessing the mentioned source in general and how to treat its particular restatement of the Mathew effect. --Tikiwont 18:03, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
This is what I am talking about (from the "history" part of the article): "19:49, 8 May 2007 TomTheHand (Talk | contribs) (18,352 bytes) "There seems to be reasonable consensus that Dulbecco's law is insufficiently sourced."Pproctor 00:50, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, everyone but you seems to agree on that, and that's as close to consensus as we are likely to ever get. Look, I really wanted to keep the article on Dulbecco's law in the first place, so I spent quite some time looking for sources. There is plenty of discussion of the phenomenon where it's pretty much consistently called the "Matthew effect in science". Most of us are not comfortable adding a term based on one powerpoint slide. Rl 07:32, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Dulbecco's Law, continued[edit]

With due respect. I provide a powerpoint slide from a review on scientific misconduct from a professor at a Danish University whom we can reasonably believe is an authority on the subject. Likewise, as I note in the main article, the Danes are acknowledged leaders in this area. In the intellectual tradition I was raised in, this is quite sufficent to establish the existence of the term. Moreover, the review defines the term exactly.

Again, this is a folk term. Having heard this term several times in my scientific career, I have no doubt it exists, NOR by itself, but a fact the review supports. The one "priviledge" granted experts on Wikpedia is that we are acknowledged to know the cites. A simple newspaper article referring to "Dulbecco's law" would, under the usual and customary rules here, be sufficient. This is much more authoritative than that. BTW, as you may note, I do not indulge in useless edit wars.Pproctor 02:57, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Attribution: "Reliable sources are credible published materials with a reliable publication process; their authors are generally regarded as trustworthy or authoritative in relation to the subject at hand. How reliable a source is depends on context. In general, the most reliable sources are books and journals published by universities; mainstream newspapers; and university level textbooks, magazines and journals that are published by known publishing houses."Pproctor 06:33, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Hello, I am Claus Emmeche, the author of the powerpoint slides show from 2006 that was referred to, and that included the side comment on Dulbecco's law. This is just to say, in agreement with what is just stated in the Attribution, that (a) I don't consider such slides as a reliable citation sources on par with published journal articles: No strict work of revision or criticism (e.g., demanding a cource for the various claims) went into their production, thus slides are to be compared with a teacher's writing something on the blackboard at a lecture, and as everybody knows, lecture notes are often simply consided as supporting the spoken word. (b) I am not an expert sociologist of science, but a generalist in science studies and philosophy of biology in a field continous with theoretical biology. (c) I don't consider the term Dulbecco's law as being important, and looking back at the course for ph.d. students I taught in November 2006, I don't even remember myself from where I got the remark but here is a fuller quote from slide no.3:
QUOTE START: "Plagiarism: the act of taking credit (or attempting to take credit) for the work of another. The appropriation of (1) experimental design or (2) data or (3) experimental material or (4) credit for work that belongs to others; e.g., ”Citation amnesia": failure to credit other/prior discoverers, to give an impression of priority. Maybe the most common type of misconduct. Improper credit can also be inadvertently-assigned, cf. Dulbecco's law = "Credit for a scientific discovery generally goes to the most famous, not the first, discoverer”." QUOTE END.
(d)The whole article should be organized somewhat better, and it would be nice to have input from more sources due to scholars on the history of scientific misconduct and also sources of philosophers of science (for the later, especially regarding norms and standards for excellent versus good versus mediocre science as one dimension in contrast to the dimension of good scientific practice versus fraud and misconduct). I would like to do more on this, but I can't do it now. Claus Emmeche 17:07, 5 February 2008.

Proposed compromise[edit]

Well I've tried above mentioned version out, but the slide show, does not seem to have a publication year nor would I be sure how to cite it. So consider it as experimental. The articles citations are rather heterogeneous, anyway. --Tikiwont 16:22, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Better explanation: why Wilmutt and Mashelkar?[edit]

The list of cases of misconduct, because it contains no explanation whatsoever, is not very helpful. The links are to the biographies of people, not to descriptions of scientific misconduct.

Why is Ian Wilmutt even listed? He's accused of claiming more credit than he deserved for valid scientific work, at worst. That's not scientific misconduct.

Why is Raghunath Anant Mashelkar listed? As far as I can tell, all he's even accused of is not hewing to the Communist view on patents.

Those are only two examples. It's most confusing. CarlFink 16:16, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

We certainly have to write what the misconduct / alleged misconduct is for every single person listed in the article! --Tobias Schmidbauer 17:21, 17 August 2008 (UTC)


Accusations of misconduct[edit]

OK, the list below is basically a list of people accused of scientific misconduct. For the most part there is no reliable source provided and no explanation of the accusation. I feel that this is in clear violation of guidelines at WP:BLP (for those that are alive), and feel that the same respect is due to those who aren’t alive anyway. Thus, before the list is restored, each addition to the list requires a t least one reliable source that clearly explains the alleged misconduct. A summary should probably also be provided next to the name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nouse4aname (talkcontribs) 09:54, 9 October 2008

Cases of alleged scientific misconduct and related incidents[edit]

Below is an incomplete list of cases of alleged scientific misconduct. Some of them are relatively minor, such as Robert Millikan's data selection in his famous oil-drop experiment, which, while potentially suspicious, does not seem to have been used in a misleading way or change the fundamental correctness of the experimental results. In other cases, the accusations are for outright fabrication or fraud and are considered very serious. Some accusations regard the ethics of research subjects. In some cases, whether they are actually misconduct is still in debate.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Nouse4aname (talkcontribs) 08:58, 9 October 2008 (UTC)


[You cannot simply remove a gradually evolving and multisourced list simply because some are not sourced. In fact most do appear to be very well sourced. This has to be reverted. If there is merit in discussing case by case, then so be it. That is what Wikipedia is about. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Placeboint4 (talkcontribs) 22:31, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually, it is actively encouraged that unsourced information, especially that regarding living people, is removed on sight. The vast majority of items on the list are not sufficiently sourced. To be correctly sourced, as I stated above, they need the citation to be placed next to the name, on this article. A link to the article where the alleged scientific misconduct is discussed, even if correctly sourced, is not enough. Many readers will not click through to the relevant article or read the section. Also, changes to those articles may not be reflected here. Such statements must be referenced on each article they appear. I will leave the list for now, however I suggest that correct citations are added to all names, or I will be back to remove them. It is the job of the person that added the name to the list to ensure it is correctly referenced. Nouse4aname (talk) 08:21, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Significant potential exists here for violation of Wikipedia policy on biographies of living persons. Accordingly, I removed all names from the article list that were not supported by either an article link or a citation to a source that appears to be WP:RS. I did not, however, check all of the articles and sources to verify that they support the name's presence on this list. Also, I removed Gregor Mendel because the data-fudging that he apparently did centuries ago is not generally considered to have been scientific misconduct in the modern sense, and I removed Hubertus Strughold because Nazi human experimentation belongs in a completely different category of "misconduct." --Orlady (talk) 00:32, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for making a start. As I said above however, a link to the article is not a sufficient reference. Relevant references should be provided within this article to support the claims made here. Nouse4aname (talk) 08:21, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
IMO the list should only contain incidents that are properly documented in another WP article (either on the incident or the people involved). I don't think we can (or should) squeeze in all the references needed to make each case on this page. Rl (talk) 06:44, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I also propose removing any names from the section "Cases of alleged scientific misconduct and related incidents" that are not properly substantiated or of a substantial nature.

The extraordinary sentence "In some cases, whether they are actually misconduct is still in debate" itself indicates the lack of scholarly standards being demonstrated here. If an accusation has not been substantiated, it should not be included in an article such as this, which is supposed to be about the topic of scientific fraud in general. Even if it could be said that there is some controversy surrounding the research of a particular scientist, this would not make them an appropriate subject for listing in an article specifically about the topic of scientific fraud. It would be more appropriate to discuss these matters in an article on the particular individual.

It should be obvious to anyone that the simple fact that someone accused someone of something does not in itself give validity to the accusation, or make it suitable for inclusion in an encyclopedia article. In several cases here, there is no indication as to what the accusation was, whether it was adjudicated, or if so what the outcome was. Listing names in this way might be seen as defamatory, and could invite malicious behaviour.Ezzthetic (talk) 11:27, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

I have removed a number of names from the section "Cases of alleged scientific misconduct and related incidents". These were entries that either were not linked to an article, or were linked to an article that simply stated an accusation.

I believe this whole section should be removed from this article. There might be a case for mentioning a number of famous and historic examples of scientific fraud in order to illustrate points being made in the article, (e.g. the Piltdown Man case, or the McBride case), but no justification for a "grab-bag" of listings.

The problems with the section are evident in its heading - it does not distinguish between major and minor cases, is arbitrary and incomplete, and contained accusations that have not been substantiated.Ezzthetic (talk) 09:55, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

I see my removal of unsubstantiated listings has been reverted by an anonymous user. Quelle surprise.

86.145.51.246, do not make changes without justifying your behaviour.

I have removed the listings once again. We can go on playing reversion ping-pong if you like, but if the listings appear again, I will attempt to have the matter adjudicated.Ezzthetic (talk) 09:24, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Do we really need a link to the Semmelweis Society? There's already a link to the subject of sham peer review.

The Semmelweis Society article is of fairly poor quality, merely stating the Society's aims in abstract terms. The only example of "sham peer review" it gives is the fact that a doctor who was struck off in one state managed to get work in another. Frankly, they don't strike me as a very credible organisation.

Peer review is a sensitive topic at the moment, because it has become commonplace for anti-science propagandists to attack the concept. When it is pointed out that the articles and graphs they rely on have not been published in peer-reviewed journals, some have retaliated by trying to denigrate the concept of peer-review, and finding cases where it has failed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ezzthetic (talkcontribs) 22:39, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Once again, a reversion from our anonymous friend in London.

You know, 81.159.126.179, I have a special talent. It involves guessing people's occupations from their IP addresses. From yours, I'm guessing you're, oh, let's see ... I think you might have ... used to do mathematical research and financial trading on Wall Street and in the City of London. But now you study independently.

Am I right sir?

I think I know what your game is. This page is not a forum for you to pursue your ridiculous vendettas. The unsubstantiated listings are removed again. Especially that one.

I am applying to have this page locked.Ezzthetic (talk) 02:22, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

I think if you removed cases selectively and not a variety of cases some of which are well described and investigated you would have more success with your edits Ezzthetic —Preceding unsigned comment added by Irbteam (talkcontribs) 02:44, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Irbteam, these names will shortly be removed again. I suspect this page is being abused by an individual with an agenda against a particular individual. The whole point of removing the names is that they are not "well described and investigated". You do not do anything to explain otherwise. On the contrary, the listings are probably libelous.Ezzthetic (talk) 03:07, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Actually not. the agenda, if there is one, is to prevent inapproriate editing and removal of documented cases. You need to discuss each and every case and not just remove them at your whim. Starting from the top:

Eastell - Admitted to writing important publication based on data that he had not seen, that data had been denied by the "sponsor", and that findings of the publication were false. Well referenced

Karen M. Ruggiero - At least one good reference. Publication retracted.

Kazunari Taira - Nature reference to fraud - inaccessible without subscription but the case is described elsewhere. I agree that better referencing is required - but removal?????

Would you like to discuss the others. In the absence of discussion it is questionable whether your actions are in fact the vandalism. Irbteam (talk) 03:22, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Precisely. It is the particular removals that make these Ezzthetic deletions a problem. The Rugerio case was even subject to an NIH investigation. Others as mentioned were admitted. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-020.html. I don't think anyone is against the principle that cases listed should be both documented and raise principles of importance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Irbteam (talkcontribs) 03:43, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Irbteam, at the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, they have to be documented either in footnotes or by links to other articles. That is what is meant by documentation. You say cases are "well-referenced". Where? And what was the outcome of the Rugerio investigation? And where were the other cases "admitted"?
Furthermore, as I stated earlier, the simple fact that someone was accused of something does not make it appropriate to include in this list. It is especially inappropriate to include those who were exonerated of any wrong-doing. And, as I said, probably libelous.
My reasons for removing the listings were fully outlined above, and others have raised similar concerns.
Love the accusation of vandalism, by the way. Perhaps you could have me thrown into jail :)
It's off to mediation we go.Ezzthetic (talk) 04:07, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Irbteam, I'm just puzzled about something.
There are two posts in a row from you - the second starting "Precisely ...". It looks like you were responding to another poster. But there was no other poster. So who exactly were you responding to? Your own post, perhaps?
Were you unaware that once you sign in, your posts get auto-signed by a bot?Ezzthetic (talk) 05:15, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Ezzthetic, please state which, if any of the persons you removed were "exonerated". I have checked the already supplied references for all of the cases you have removed. It is not clear that you have done so. Rugerio, the already supplied link (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-020.html) is the best one. That is hardly an exoneration. One or two of the cases cited do require additional referencing. 86.153.230.198 (talk) 09:34, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Wei-Chyung Wan was completely exonerated, as you are well aware. No-one has any business placing his name on this list.
By the way, there have been a number of anonymous postings here recently. The IP addresses all seem to be emanating from the same ISP btcentralplus.com in London. If they are the same individual, how about having the decency to register like the rest of us.Ezzthetic (talk) 01:54, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
As I attempted to do previously, the entire list should be removed. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate list of information, and we do not need (and will never be able to create) an exhaustive list of all those accused/guilty of scientific misconduct. All names on the list that does not have a citation should be removed. As I stated above, linking to another article where there may be a citation is insufficient. The citation must be next to the statement of fact that it supports. The list should really be trimmed down to only include the most notable cases. By this I mean those that received widespread coverage in numerous reliable sources. There really is no need to include every person who may satisfy the criteria, as the list is difficult to police, and additions to it are potentially libelous. Nouse4aname (talk) 11:55, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I am hoping that the list will be removed as a result of mediation. It is too prone to the type of malicious behaviour that I suspect is already taking place.Ezzthetic (talk) 01:54, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

I do agree in part with the above comment by Nouse4aname 11:55, 30 March 2009. I think it is worth stating a number of principles that are open to discussion:

  1. An incrementing list of cases is extremely useful, particularly where those cases are well documented instances that illustrate aspects of the problem. It is not necessary to list every case of plagiarism.
  2. Misconduct is not binary. In fact, a reason to mention different cases is because they highlight these problems. What should be clearly documented is the "what happened", and then there could be brief counter-assertion if necessary as to whether that documented action is deemed appropriate. For example is academic bullying to prevent dissent scientific misconduct (as in the case involving the actions of JAMA editors this week).
  3. Subheadings would be helpful - eg "Cases related to ghost authorship", "Cases involving denial of data", "Editorial misconduct". There could even be a section of disputed cases - what should be in dispute is not the facts in broad detail, but how the scientific community views such actions.
  4. It is an unfortunate fact that single names are often misleading. In many of the cases mentioned institutional misconduct or colleague misconduct (including attempts at coverup or collusion) is an issue (the Darsee case is an example). The mentors of those named may be even more culpable.
  5. Deletion of the entire list would in my view be a total cop-out. Misconduct (as well as its implications, coverup, and place in science) can only be understood through examples/"case law" and not as some disembodied set of principles. The actual cases that were removed were simply random - some may have deserved qualification, balance or even removal. # However some of the cases removed are "headline" cases which have served to drive thinking in this area, and are extremely well documented. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.153.230.198 (talk) 17:15, 30 March 2009 (UTC) 86.153.230.198 (talk) 17:19, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Criteria for inclusion: we should not list allegations or speculations about misconduct. Rumours about Mendel and the oil drop experiment seem out of place; perhaps a separate section would be OK, but unproven cases like this are risky to list at all. But equally, removing them all amounts to censorship, and Wikipedia is not censored. In my opinion, we can only include cases of misconduct if they are:
1. Notable. Have they been written about in multiple, reliable sources?
2. Proven. A. Did a governing body or institution investigate and find misconduct? and/or B. Did a journal withdraw their work or publish a notice of concern?
These two criteria must be met for a case of misconduct to be listed. Further, we should include citations to all cases on this page, and include a brief description of the misconduct, not just the name of the researcher involved. Fences and windows (talk) 18:17, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
The list as it stands is indefensible. Apart from issues of unfairness, it looks unscholarly and unprofessional. This is supposed to be an article about the nature of scientific misconduct in general, not "Fraud Accusation Central".Ezzthetic (talk) 01:54, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Maybe there should be a separate WP:list. It was me who added Wang; I added Wang because there is a peer-reviewed article about it and it has been written up in reputable mainstream media. FlagrantUsername (talk) 14:18, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
FlagrantUsername, which "peer-reviewed article" did it appear in? And if you say "Energy and Environment", you lose. Once again, no citations.
The fact that it appeared in the "mainstream media" (I only noticed it on right-wing denialist sites) also does not make it worthy of inclusion.
By the way, were you also the one doing the anonymous reversions? Why is it so important that Wang's name be included? There's no pressing reason to add any name.Ezzthetic (talk) 00:18, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
You say "you lose", but "Wikipedia is not a battleground". And why criticise, if the peer review? Why are citations necessary?? 212.123.202.81 (talk) 14:19, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Q. "Why are citations necessary?" A. Because they are (see notification about unsourced or poorly sourced controversial claims about a living person).
Q. "And why criticise, if the peer review?" A. Because "Energy and Environment" is not peer-reviewed.
By the way, I did not say "Wikipedia is not a battleground" - that was Fences and windows. But I whole-heartedly endorse that statement, as does every legitimate editor.Ezzthetic (talk) 10:29, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Support. The list should be moved to List of scientific misconduct controversies, and a summary of each case should be included. All cases must be sourced in reliable sources, and if the allegations were notable but unproven this must be stated. I will copy the list across soon if nobody has substantial objections. Fences and windows (talk) 16:20, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Claims about Keenan[edit]

The above was pointed out to me. I acknowledge that I have in the past made anonymous changes to Wikipedia. I am not, however, in any way responsible for the edit made to this article by 81.159.126.179, nor for the talking on this page by user 86.153.230.198; nor do I know who those users are. I would point out that both those IP addresses are for the BT Group, which apparently has millions of users. It seems obvious that many of those would have some interest in scientific misconduct.

I do not have expertise in Wikipedia policies. On common-sense grounds, though, it seems inappropriate to have a single list of names that includes both people who have been convicted of scientific fraud and people who have not been convicted. FWIW, then, I support excluding Wei-Chyung Wang from the list.

The claim "Wei-Chyung Wan was completely exonerated", made above, is disputable. You can find out more at my web page for the case: http://www.informath.org/apprise/a5620.htm. Note, in particular, that I filed a formal complaint for criminal fraud, which is under review, and a complaint of research fraud with the U.S. Department of Energy (Wang's funder), which is being investigated. As for the university's investigation of Wang, you might read my submission to the DOE, or the original allegation. In addition, I am currently preparing to initiate legal proceedings against the university.

The Eastell case is not one that I have had direct involvement with; I have only read about it on Blumsohn's web site. As was noted, the case is well documented, by quality sources. In particular, Eastell admitted that he had not seen the data upon which his allegedly-fraudulent paper was based (only the pharmaceutical company had the data). Eastell's university, though, did not prosecute, as is their prerogative.

The Eastell case, especially, might be taken to illustrate how reluctant universities are to prosecute star professors, even when the evidence is conclusive—as an admission of guilt surely is. Perhaps the Wikipedia article should contain two lists: a main list for those who were convicted and a secondary list for selected others. Again, though, I do not have expertise in Wikipedia policies; so that might be inappropriate.

Kind wishes,  Douglas J. Keenan (talk) 10:11, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Douglas,
Thank-you for commenting. (Apologies for getting your name wrong too. Old age, I'm afraid.) I made an addition to my mediation request noting that I was not accusing you specifically. I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was. Of course, I have no evidence to base such an accusation on. I mentioned your involvement to support the claim that your case involving Wang was a current preoccupation on certain blogs. Of course, any ISP has many users, and it is not possible to base an accusation on the fact that they use a specific ISP. I did state that in my original post.
Nonetheless, someone appears to be incessantly tampering with this page, with the apparent intention of smuggling Wang's name onto it. We have been treated to continual anonymous and unjustified reversions, sock-puppetry, concern-trolling, and blather. Everything that is bad about this resource. It does look like someone with a grudge against him.
Unfortunately, there seems to be something of a hate-storm being directed at Wang at the moment. On one blog, some posters announced their intention of engaging in a campaign of harassment against him. It is regrettable, I think, that you are prosecuting your case in such a public manner, as it tends to lead to reactions like this.
Let's hope we can sort this out. A page with controversial content such as this need to enforce better standards of editorship.Ezzthetic (talk) 11:45, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a battleground. It is not a soapbox. I have finally looked into this, and it is about allegations of fabrication of temperature data in 1990, or more specifically, vagueness about the exact locations of temperature stations. I can find one (POV) source: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07231/810390-373.stm. His institution, Albany, cleared him, and Keenan then referred the case to the Public Integrity Bureau at the Office of the Attorney General of New York State. This allegation must not be included in Wikipedia, as it is not proven, nor is reporting of it in multiple, reliable sources. Fences and windows (talk) 01:37, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Thank-you, Fences and windows, for re-iterating the very point I have been making over and over on this page for the last few weeks. Unfortuntely, it is not practical to enforce the sort of editorial principles you rightly state, as they simply get reverted, either by anonymous users, or by registered users who seem to have no history, and the same ISP as the anonymous users.
As I noted, I have tried to have the matter mediated (which is supposed to be the first step in dispute resolution), but it just isn't happening. As I think what is happening here is flagrant abuse, we need to call in something stronger. Unfortunately, I lack experience at editing Wikipedia, and have found the dispute resolution procedures too confusing. If you or anyone else here is in a position to flag the page as having inappropriate content or to call for adjudication, I would appreciate it if you could do so.Ezzthetic (talk) 03:35, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
WP:BLP and WP:RS are not negotiable. All content must be verifiable. Hearsay, personal knowledge and poorly sourced claims about living people must not be included. If editors breach this then they will be reported to adminstrators, and the article will be referred to Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard. Any unsourced controversial material about a living person will be removed, and such removals are exempt from WP:3RR. Please also note the conflict of interest rules, particularly Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest#Legal_antagonists. Fences and windows (talk) 00:30, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Keenan lists four verifiable sources at website. One is an article of his, which he says peer-reviewed. Two others were newspaper columns, from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Sydney Morning Herald. The fourth is a newspaper article from NZZ. How listing Wang, with citations, violate WP: BLP??? 212.123.202.81 (talk) 14:08, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

The SMH article makes no mention of Wang, fraud or an investigation into him. The PPG reports the accusation of fraud, but mentions no investigation. NZZamSontag doesn't mention fraud, Wang or an investigation. Fences and windows (talk) 16:37, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
What does it matter if PPG mentions no investigation? It mentions fraud. NZZ says "documentation does not even exist". That is Keenan's allegation! Also, Keenan's peer-reviewed paper surely counts. I prefer your earlier recommendation for the WP article to state that the allegation has not been proven, maybe with more details. I am not strongly pushing for Wang's inclusion tho. But does Wang violate BLP? The allegation is notable and verifiable. FlagrantUsername (talk) 17:20, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
I was not previously aware of this (or of the journal), but Energy and Environment has been criticised for having bias and poor peer review. The editor admits: ""I'm following my political agenda -- a bit, anyway," she says. "But isn't that the right of the editor?".[9] She's wrong. A responsible journal editor will avoid making decisions on articles on which they have a conflict of interest, which includes political beliefs. She's also stated that "it’s only we climate skeptics who have to look for little journals and little publishers like mine to even get published.". Harro Meijer said of a 2007 paper that ""Energy and Environment" apparently has been unable to organise a proper peer review process for this paper, thereby discrediting the journal". Ralph Keeling said "The Beck article provides an interesting test case for E&E's recently advertised willingness to serve as a forum for "skeptical analyses of global warming" (E&E mission statement, Dec. 2006). The result was the publication of a paper with serious conceptual oversights that would have been spotted by any reasonably qualified reviewer. Is it really the intent of E&E to provide a forum for laundering pseudo-science?". I think that E&E appears to be a fringe source. Fences and windows (talk) 17:58, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
I do not think any serious scientist regards "Enery and Environment" as a credible journal. It seems to be where you go if you can't get your work published anywhere else. Do a search on RealClimate.org, for example. (By the way, interesting to see you appear to have an interest in the Gillberg case.) Ezzthetic (talk) 10:41, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I see our old friend the Anonymous Reverter from London is back (86.135.30.41). Once again, it's coming from the same ISP (btcentralplus.com) as the other anonymous reversions, 86.145.51.246, 86.153.230.198, 81.159.126.179, etc, etc. Regrettably, the original change, removing the reference to Richard Eastell - Actonel Affair - was also done anonymously, apparently from the Mayo Clinic. The reverter says "see discussion and documentation", but doesn't seem to have turned up here to discuss anything, nor to announce that they are going to make the changes.Ezzthetic (talk) 19:08, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm going to look into all the cases, summarise those with decent evidence, and fork it into a list page. Will try to do asap. Fences and windows (talk) 01:27, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

_____________________________________


Regarding the journal Energy & Environment, in which my paper on Wang appeared, perhaps a few points of clarifications are in order.

First, my paper was peer reviewed, and the thoroughness of the peer review was very good compared with the other peer-reviews that I have known (for the papers listed on my home page). In the issue in which my paper appeared is another paper by Craig Loehle; Loehle has published roughly 100 peer-reviewed papers, and he also found that the quality of the review of his paper was comparatively very good.

Second, in the so-called "hard" sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.), the quality of a journal is almost always evaluated by its impact factor. E&E does not have an impact factor. It is for that reason that most researchers in the hard sciences would say that E&E is not a real research journal. That is also the explanation behind the criticism of Roger A. Pielke (Jr), quoted in the Wikipedia article about Energy & Environment.

Third, in the "soft" sciences (psychology, sociology, economics, etc.), the impact factor of a journal is much less important than in the hard sciences. Although some social-science journals have impact factors, there are many well-respected journals that do not.

Fourth, my paper appeared in a special issue of the journal, which was devoted to "The IPCC: structure, process and politics". The issue was not edited by the regular editor, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, but by Benny Peiser.

Is my paper a paper in the soft sciences or the hard sciences? And how do the above points otherwise affect its suitability for citation by Wikipedia? Someone else should answer.

HTH, Douglas J. Keenan (talk) 21:59, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Mediation[edit]

The mediation request for this page now has a mediator. If you want to be involved in the mediation, Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2009-03/Scientific_misconduct. Fences and windows (talk) 20:20, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Are there enough Reliable Sources for Wang?[edit]

This section is reserved solely for the headline question. Editors should be familiar with WP:BLP, WP:RS, and WP:DISPUTE.

Four sources have been cited for Wang. They are listed below.


1. An article[10] in NZZ. The source is reliable. One editor objected, because the article does not say that there was fraud. The NZZ article says "documentation did not even exist". That is the substance of the fraud allegation. If some article said "he chopped her head off with an ax", would anyone complain because it did not say "he killed her"? This source seems good.


2. An article[11] in Energy and Environment. The article was peer reviewed. One WP editor criticized an editor of the journal. That journal editor apparently was not involved in the special issue in which the article appeared.[12] And the criticism applies to other leading journals. No reason has been given to doubt the reliability of the article. But the journal is not prestigious.


3. Discussion in a book by Christopher C. Horner. The book is partially available in Google Books.[13] See pages 288-91. This source, however, seems to be based entirely on the article in Energy and Environment.


4. A floor speech in the U.S. Senate.[14] This source seems good. —Preceding unsigned comment added by FlagrantUsername (talkcontribs) 13:40, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

No, there aren't enough reliable sources.
  1. NZZ am Sontag (14/10/07, Kreuzzug gegen schlampige Mathematik) says the following: "When he asked which stations had been used to make the measurements, Keenan once again found himself running into a brick wall. “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”, asked one of the authors. But the professor had not reckoned with Keenan's obstinacy. Since the professor was working at a university in England, he was subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which obliges employees of public institutions to release data. He was thus forced to hand over the list of the Chinese measuring stations to Keenan. And lo and behold: out of 35 measuring stations, 25 had been subjected to a change of location, sometimes even several changes, which often covered dozens of kilometers. For a further 49 measuring stations, documentation did not even exist."[15] There is no mention of Wang, no mention of fraud, and no mention of an investigation. Errors in data are not the same as fraud.
  2. Energy & Environment is a fringe publication edited by climate skeptics, including the editor of the issue in which Keenan's article appeared. It is not a reliable source. I gave more detail on this above.
  3. Horner's book is clearly partisan, so is not a reliable source.
  4. The senate floor speech repeats Keenan's accusation of fraud against the UN, but gives no detail: "Douglas J. Keenan, a former Morgan Stanley employee and current independent mathematical researcher, accused the UN of "fabrications" and "discovered that the sources used by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) have disregarded the positions of weather stations." Keenan has accused the UN of "intentionally using outdated data on China from 1991 and ignoring revised data on the country from 1997." This is inadequate to support specific accusations against Wang.
Lastly, there are no sources on the investigation into this accusation by Wang's institution, so it is impossible to refer to this case in a balanced way, even if we do want to include those who have only been accused of misconduct on this page. Fences and windows (talk) 20:41, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
More criticism of E&E: an article in the Australian says this about E&E in the context of critiquing a book: "While the text is annotated profusely with footnotes and refers to papers in the top journals, thus giving it the veneer of scholarship, it is often the case that the cited articles do not support the text. Plimer repeatedly veers off to the climate sceptic's journal of choice, the bottom-tier Energy and Environment, to advance all manner of absurd theories: for example, that CO2 concentrations actually have fallen since 1942."[16]
The New Zealand Herald says this: "Gray finds it difficult to get his views aired, which he's why he's unashamed about being published by the Tech Central Science Foundation - an organisation that has received US$95,000 ($141,000) in funding from ExxonMobil. He says he hasn't received any funding from fossil fuel industries. His most recent paper was published in the climate sceptic journal Energy and Environment. "The reason it's published there is because nobody would publish it in one of the so called peer-reviewed journals, which are a little closed circle who won't allow people who disagree with them to publish. The editors of Nature and Science are both raving global warmers.""[17]
Climate scientist Stephen Schneider at Stanford says this about the journal: "Mann and his colleagues and other members of the scientific community were outraged when they learned of the publication of the McIntyre/McKitrick article. Most credible scientific journals receiving criticism of previously published work typically give the authors under fire the chance to review and respond to an article challenging their claims. Energy & Environment never gave Mann and his colleagues that chance, and it was not clear whether any of the reviewers who did look over the paper were well-known climatologists or other natural scientists qualified to judge the validity of such a paper (nor have I seen any evidence that McIntyre and McKitrick have any training in climatology or natural science!). In fact, it is well known that the editor of Energy & Environment, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, has sometimes allowed her political agenda, rather than the high standards of scientific peer review, to dominate the content of the journal. In 2003, Boehmer-Christiansen also allowed the publication of another Soon and Baliunas paper nearly identical to the one published in Climate Research (discussed above), and she is known to be against ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and supportive of the work of Bjørn Lomborg, another contrarian (discussed below). Though Energy & Environment is geared toward social scientists, she told the Chronicle of Higher Education that she published scientific papers that refute the notion that global warming is a problem because there are very few outlets for such work. This practice fits nicely with her political stance (see, e.g., Parsons, 1995 — comment on page two) and calls the objectivity of Energy & Environment into question."[18]
The blog Deltoid on the ScienceBlogs network has criticised E&E a number of times, characterising it as a "forum for laundering pseudo-science".
The Union of Concerned Scientists says " The journal Energy & Environment is not a science journal and does not follow standard practices of scientific peer review. The journal has the explicitly political agenda to be “a forum for sceptical analyses of ‘global warming.’”[19].
Paul D. Thacker wrote a news article titled "Skeptics get a journal" in Environmental Science & Technology, criticising E&E (August 31 2005, article not online). Fences and windows (talk) 22:16, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

2010 sources[edit]

The Guardian has made the allegations again, with more details about what were the flaws in the dataStrange case of moving weather posts and a scientist under siege --Enric Naval (talk) 11:06, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

see also Alternative medicine?[edit]

An anonymous edit removed the link to alternative medicine and was reverted. I agree with the removal. Pseudosciences shouldn't be listed here -- otherwise we'd have to had add astrology and the like as well. What for? This article is about misconduct in science, not mistakes or ignorance. Rl (talk) 13:15, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

We could put up some links to FDA misconduct, water fluoridation and some Abominable Snowman references. 84.104.135.141 (talk) 13:59, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Cases of alleged scientific misconduct and related incidents[edit]

I removed all the uncited entries from Scientific misconduct#Cases of alleged scientific misconduct and related incidents, and added this html comment:

Each entry must have an inline citation attached at its end to meet Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:BLP policies.

It is not sufficient that the citation be present on the linked article, it must be present here too.

I then extended a few of the remaining inline cites, sometimes adding short quotes to provide context. - 84user (talk) 13:36, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Good move, this was overdue. Fences&Windows 08:08, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Layout?[edit]

I would like to suggest that some structural changes be made. Maybe instead of starting out with the specific references to Scandinavian articulation of misconduct, it would be better to have a more general opening paragraph that loosely defines misconduct, then further down in the article could be a place for the (albeit slightly) different definitions used by different states, and this could be a good place to elaborate some of the not-so-small differences in institutional definitions, as well as legal definitions. Also, there isn't a section on the history and development of a general philosophy regarding misconduct in science, such as Boyle and Babbage, &c. The article is one that has obviously received a fair amount of editorial attention, and these would be rather large changes, so I wonder if anyone felt that they would be worth adding and then fighting over... Gaedheal (talk) 17:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Go for it. The articles needs some bold work to reorganise it. Fences&Windows 00:57, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Very well. I'll try some things over the next week. If anyone objects, please feel free to undo any editing. Gaedheal (talk) 21:17, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Goodstein's motivators[edit]

It says in the intro to the Motivations section that Goodstein identified three motivators. However, five are listed. Comparing with a much earlier version I see that Money and Ideology have been added to what was there originally. Should they be removed, or should the section be restructured somehow?--212.183.140.48 (talk) 11:31, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Climategate[edit]

I think we ought to rename "Climategate" under the list of examples, as the consensus on Talk:Consensus is not to use that term, as it in itself holds a point of view. CopaceticThought (talk) 14:02, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Rv: why[edit]

Doesn't meet the conditions William M. Connolley (talk) 20:32, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Ideology and the suppression of findings[edit]

  • Such cases may not be strictly definable as scientific misconduct as the deliberate falsification of results is not present. However, in such cases the intent may nevertheless be to deliberately deceive. Studies may be suppressed or remain unpublished because the findings are perceived to undermine the commercial, political or other interests of the sponsoring agent or because they fail to support the ideological goals of the researcher

Is it, or is it not, scientific misconduct when a researcher suppresses findings which "fail to support the ideological goals of the researcher" or which "undermine the political interests of the sponsoring agent"? I mean, is there actually any controversy over this? Or do all parties agree that this is the textbook definition? --Uncle Ed (talk) 22:14, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

I think you're looking at it in an un-nuanced way. "Suppression" of findings goes all the way from not bothering to pursue something that you think your funders might not like, all the way to the way the tobacco industry behaved. If you read the definitions provided in the article, then Intention(al) or gross negligence leading to fabrication of the scientific message or a false credit or emphasis given to a scientist doesn't look like it covers suppression. So yes, your interpretation is controversial William M. Connolley (talk) 12:01, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Albert Steinschneider — alleged misconduct[edit]

At this point in time, the last citation attached to his name in this article, seems non-relevant. Can someone please move that last citation regarding him?

I have googled his name, and neither this article nor the google search, immediately shows me a notable reference about the alleged misconduct of Steinschneider. --85.166.141.237 (talk) 13:58, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Is inflating bibliometric indexes really considered misconduct?[edit]

The article claims that "strategic placement of self-citations to inflate bibliometric indicators, such as the H-index" is a form of misconduct (actually it's not so clear because of the poor text quality). A citation is given but does not support the argument, because it never claims that making self-citations (even strategically) is scientific misconduct - research foundations give quite specific definitions of misconduct, which should be cited. For instance, guidelines from the German Research Society (DFG), available here in German and English, do not even mention the word "self-citation", even if they discuss problems with citations in Sec. 2.5.

Therefore, ironically, that citation seems to be an instance of "Another form of fabrication is where references are included to give arguments the appearance of widespread acceptance, but are actually fake, and/or do not support the argument". While the citation makes sense to explain how the h-index might be artificially inflated, it does not qualify that as misconduct. --Blaisorblade (talk) 23:09, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Where are they now?[edit]

I have always come across Karen Ruggerio's name in scientific misconduct documents. I see she now makes over $80K working for the Department of State Health Services in Texas. It would be interesting to see where these other individuals are working, and why their employers couldn't find someone else with a higher moral background. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.147.28.69 (talkcontribs)

Scientific misconduct[edit]

You deleted a scientist from the list and explained this was because he is just an economist, not a scientist. I don't know how you define science but please note the introduction of the article specifies that it is about "violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in professional scientific research". That is clearly what this person did and in a way that had a big impact on the way economists see their discipline. It also had an impact on other fields as it was an extreme case of self-plagiarism by a leading scholar in his field and who published in scientific journals of several fields, arguing he needed to publish the same research more than once in order to reach a wider audience. Zingophalitis (talk) 23:02, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

The title of this article is scientific misconduct, and I had it in my head that this wasn't pure "science" matter, though economics is a "social science" so would arguably fall under this rubric as well. I won't remove it again, but would welcome further input from others. Yobol (talk) 23:06, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

"Science Fraud" website shut down[edit]

Op-ed by Bill Frezza at Forbes magazine.

This has been in the news lately, and might be pertinent here. Opinion, but has some good links. --Pete Tillman (talk) 19:51, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

"Individual cases" section: many mentions of scientists lack details[edit]

I note that many of the individuals here just have their name listed, usually with a wikilink -- but without a summary of their scientific misconduct. It would be better to include a brief summary of the case. Anyone? --Pete Tillman (talk) 22:44, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Yes, indeed. Per WP:BLP policy people should not appear here unless findings of fraud, not just allegations, can be evidenced. Xxanthippe (talk) 22:55, 24 August 2013 (UTC).
Thanks for your efforts on this.
It might be worth copying the deletions that appear to have some merit here in talk, in case some energetic soul wants to add proper cites. Obvious BLP vios should just be deleted (as you've done). I should have some time this week to tackle this one again.... --Pete Tillman (talk) 23:23, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
So in the case of Mart Bax we should wait for the report of the uni? It was scheduled for 1 Sept. but it is overdue. Or do you want references? I only have journalistic references. Andries (talk) 05:30, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Only when the case for misconduct is absolutely solid should it be reported here. Xxanthippe (talk) 06:27, 18 September 2013 (UTC).
I think it is solid, though it may be because of mental illness or extreme incompetence, instead of fraud. But let us wait for the report of the uni in this case which should not take long anymore. Andries (talk) 08:05, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
The official report by a commission appointed by the uni was already published in English. The Mart Bax case was proven, not only by the official report, but in my opinion already earlier by journalistic articles. Andries (talk) 10:13, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Mistranslation or improper punctation?[edit]

In the article introduction a swedish and danish definition of scientific misconduct is given. In the swedish one can read "Intention[al] distortion of the research process by fabrication of data, text, hypothesis, or methods from another researcher's manuscript form or publication; or distortion of the research process in other ways." The way this reads to me is that "fabrication" of hypothesis somehow falls under scientific misconduct. Formulating a hypothesis is one of the foundations of science and a hypothesis is always "fabricated". Comments? Morphriz (talk) 12:48, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Why is this entry being undone?[edit]

Xxanthippe claims this source is not adequate. Source and relevant document numbers with dates are given and freely available to the public. They are all signed by the original sources. All points made in this text are covered within the 4 documents. This is more tightly sourced than many other articles in Wikipedia. On the matter of primary vs tertiary refs, compare to refs in the rest of the article and what this offers the reader in terms of how to perceive a decision from an institution. Could someone please explain what more is required?

Entry in Responsibilities of institutions section:

Evidence can be seen in Swedish institutions; all documentation and correspondence from all parties regarding a misconduct (oredlighet) complaint is publicly available from the registrar's office. Cases of declining to investigate or take action, or to act only on select individuals, are freely available to the general public. Cases from the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden) are in English. From these cases, the ethics committee has sometimes arrived at a different decision than the chancellor[31]. At least one case involved reciprocal authorship complaints (in separate publications) with another institution in which each institution sided with their own researchers. This can happen, for example, when one group discovers or suspects the other group is attempting to publish without including them in the authorship. At this point, one side can argue the work of the other group was too trivial for inclusion in authorship whereas the other side can argue their contribution alone was sufficient to warrant publication. The documentation in these cases point to long histories of unresolved distrust and workplace abuses.

References

31. Karolinska Institute office of the registrar. Stockholm, Sweden. Dnr 8082/12-609 (original complaint Dec 10, 2012; reply of accused with counter-complaint Mar 15, 2013; ethics committee decision Jun 10, 2013; rector's decision Jul 11, 2013). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Deewells (talkcontribs) 14:19, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

This appears to be a misunderstanding - the problem is that the sources are primary. See WP:PRIMARY: we use secondary sources as far as possible, rather than interpret primary sources for ourselves. The section could use references and amplification, but not direct case studies like this. So I'm going to reinstate it, possibly with a template asking for references. Yngvadottir (talk) 14:05, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Yngvadottir is correct. The sources are primary and cannot be used in Wikipedia. If the material is to be included a secondary source, like a reputable media report of the matter, must be found. Xxanthippe (talk) 22:04, 5 January 2014 (UTC).
Technically, WP:PRIMARY says they can be used 'with care'. In this case, it sounds like the primary-sources themselves are particularly likely to be difficult to use with care, per WP:BLP. What about newspaper articles covering slash summarizing this general issue, if not this particular set of documents? 74.192.84.101 (talk) 23:39, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi, although perhaps loud, there is not much in the way of interpretation. For instance, the documentation itself explicitly and repeatedly describes unresolved distrust and workplace abuses and the ethics committee commented on this in its decision. Not my point of view or an opinion. It is simply what is offered in the documentation. I would regard the original complaints to be primary, but I am not so sure the ethics committee or rector decisions are not secondary. It could be argued that citing the ethics committee or the rector is a bit like citing a review paper. Certainly the members of the ethics committee are supposed to be an unbiased third party that reviews a case and makes an independent assessment regarding good scientific practice. It can only be understood properly if one has access to the primary information. I could further comment that some of the text and references by other people that were not deleted are tertiary and unreliable. I am puzzled why they are retained?— Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.102.63.209 (talk) 21:27, 5 January 2014 (UTC) 79.102.63.209 (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
It should be pretty easy to find a newspaper article summarising the report. One advantage of citing that would be to avoid further giving the impression of singling out particular researchers ... the section could certainly use both more references and a further geographic expansion, but it should be on the level of "This is what has been reported", especially when getting into motivations. Hence, secondary sources summarising what the report said - not the level of detail in the report itself. Yngvadottir (talk) 22:54, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Even this might prove to be not suitable for Wikipedia. There are lots of such cases and only the most notable and well established need be reported. A comprehensive list will be too long. Also Wikipedia should not be used as an attack site by people with a bee in their bonnet about a particular issue. Xxanthippe (talk) 23:12, 5 January 2014 (UTC).
Ummm... my reading of WP:NOTEWORTHY is that, as soon as an independent third-party Reliable Source decides to mention something, then that something is suitable for use in the appropriate article of wikipedia. Now of course, whether scientific misconduct actually *is* the correct article for the material, is another question.  :-)   But definitely, WP:NOTPAPER applies, and if the list of WP:NOTEWORTHY cases of scientific misconduct is too long for this article, then we can always create History of allegations of scientific misconduct or perhaps List of scientific misconduct lawsuits or somesuch. Does this make sense? Do we already *have* such articles, under different names? Gregor Mendel and Climategate and various articles about the Nazi experiments during WWII exist, but is there not a central list of such incidents? 74.192.84.101 (talk) 23:39, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Hello 79, while it is true that the papers in question are not *your* interpretation, and not *your* opinion, they are opinions of *somebody* who is a primary-source-type-of-person, and may not even be published in the usual meaning of that word. The rector, the ethics committee, and other folks... they are not wikiReliableSources in the special jargon we use here.
  Namely, there are two possible ways that a source can be WP:RS. The usual way is when a professional editorial board fact-checks the material, and the publishes it in the usual way: on teevee, in a newspaper, or as a magazine. It has to be a professional publication, which is to say, some sort of legal entity that can be sued for damages. The other main way is when a professional academic-peer-review board referees the material, prior to publication in a book/journal/conference source. Both portions are important here: sure, the ethics board *works* in academia, but are the professional ethics professionals publishing in the The Journal of Ethics?
  No, it sounds to me like we are just speaking of appointed personnel, doing their jobs as university employees, in much the same way that the 'ethics committee' at a large corporation might. They are acting as employees, and printing out documents for internal university use, in other words... not acting as ethics researchers, and publishing refereed-articles with their research findings. Is that a correct statement of the situation?
  p.s. The main potentially-defamatory statement in your addition which leaps to the eye is your concluding sentence about "...long histories of unresolved distrust and workplace abuses." You are flat out accusing the named organization(s) and their not-named-but-not-secret-either chancellors/rectors/etc of workplace abuses. Not Good™ This is why it is important to rely on newspaper-journalists, or similar: they are professionally trained to commit neither libel nor slander, in their professional duties. Wikipedia cannot afford to be slandering, libeling, nor defaming anyone. This applies to all pages, not just mainspace-articles, see WP:BLPTALK. 74.192.84.101 (talk) 23:39, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Response: I would like to be able to agree on most of your points. But I can't. Journalists do not care about slander and libel because their corporate profits (and job security) from sensationalist journalism tagged to advertising can far exceed the minor inconvenience of a lawsuit. Your suggestions result in strong bias in favor of institutions. One must also consider the slander and libel committed by institutions against researchers. Inclusion of primary and secondary sources from all sides in this case is the only way to block corporate bias and provide the readers with accurate information. Finally, there is no potentially defamatory anything here. The distrust and abuses issue tells a great deal about the background. If a researcher is accused of scientific misconduct, does it not make a difference if it is an isolated case or if all 100 former researchers over the past 30 years were also accused? Do you really believe a corporate journalist would bother to dig so deep? I could just as well have written an article for the newspaper and come right back here with the same exact wording. I didn't because it would only serve to waste my time. Heck, don't trust me! Now that you know the references, by all means, fetch them and write your own newspaper article. I regret to say it will look eerily similar to something you've read before, right here! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.102.128.106 (talk) 18:45, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

In order to satisfy BLP policy, multiple reliable secondary sources are needed that say this. Xxanthippe (talk) 21:57, 20 January 2014 (UTC).

You have in effect asked to replace reliable sources with unreliable sources. How many articles in Wikipedia have multiple reliable secondary sources? Compare to the MJ-12 article, which no one is deleting. Is this really how you/others want encyclopedic writing? I do not. Better to shut down Wikipedia because it is turning into poorly cited tabloid fiction. It is well known to those of us investigating scientific misconduct that there are other sources of varying types showing exactly same type of problems at same institution involving same administration. For example:

Johan Thyberg. Scientific fraud or legal scandal? : examination of an investigation at Karolinska Institutet and the Swedish research council. GML Publishers. ISBN: 9789186215576

My proposed solution: I send you references and you write the article in style you see as appropriate. Far better than you deleting factually correct unbiased information.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.102.185.130 (talk) 07:22, 25 January 2014 (UTC) 79.102.185.130 (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

Mart Bax again, to User:Xxanthippe[edit]

Xxanthippe, regarding Mart Bax, I will come up with more sources but my time is very limited. In the meantime could you please explain why you consider the following source unsuitable and a primary source, as per your edit summary reverting me. For me, this source is a high-quality secondary source. To give you some context, the commission who wrote this report were commissioned by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where Bax lectured, because of very serious suspicion of scientific misconduct by Bax. My personal opinion is by the way that scientific misconduct was already proven in reliable journalistic sources before this report. The report was endorsed by the uni.

written by Baud, Michiel, Legêne, Susan, and Pels, Peter
Circumventing Reality: Report on the Anthropological Work of Professor Emeritus M.M.G. Bax by , Amsterdam, 9 September 2013, commissioned and endorsed by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, official English language version of the final report

Andries (talk) 07:19, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Nothing wrong with this. This source is better than most. Although commissioned by Bax's home university, it clearly had the power to confront all parties and form critiques of all sides, and did so. As such, it was able to perform as an outside party. Excellent unbiased writing. Problem: yet another case of important factually correct information suffering at the expense of personal opinion on how articles should be written. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Deewells (talkcontribs) 02:34, 15 February 2014 (UTC) Deewells (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

If you claim this is not a primary source take it to Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. In lieu of that find a secondary source to back it. Such should be easy to find if the topic is as important as some contributors here make out. Xxanthippe (talk) 05:45, 15 February 2014 (UTC). Xxanthippe (talk) 03:10, 15 February 2014 (UTC).
I have re-added Mart Bax with three more sources of which at least two (Volksrant a NRC newspapers) are secondary.
Please next time please explain and defend your edits on the talk page before referring me to a notice board. Andries (talk) 08:20, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Please note that the fraud as described in newspaper articles about Bax can refer to unproven data fabrication by Bax but also to the proven fraud in the accounting of pulications and achievements in the internal database of the university. The latter is not scientific misconduct, but labor related fraud i.e. cheating of his employer. Andries (talk) 08:27, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for this important contribution. You did the right thing. The collection of articles you present make for more honest writing and best chance for readers to fully comprehend the nature of these cases. Rivalry within institutions combined with close contact of university leadership with news media and the need for journalists to take a sensationalist approach to such stories opens the floodgates for significantly skewed news articles.Deewells (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

  1. ^ "For Science's Gatekeepers, a Credibility Gap". New York Times. May 2, 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-26. "Recent disclosures of fraudulent or flawed studies in medical and scientific journals have called into question as never before the merits of their peer-review system. The system is based on journals inviting independent experts to critique submitted manuscripts. The stated aim is to weed out sloppy and bad research, ensuring the integrity of the what it has published."