NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM: 11 Case Number: A03060035 11 Page 1of 1 We received a telephone call from a scientist1 who brought to our attention a recent issue of a research journal2 containing a retraction of a paper3 that cited NSF support.4 The retraction caught his attention because it noted the results of an experiment were performed by a single investigator and were not able to be replicated by the senior scientists; and the researcher who conducted those experiments6 could not be contacted to sign the retraction. These factors could lead one to consider the data in the published paper may have been fabricated. We contacted the senior author and asked about the circumstances of the retraction. He explained his research group was in the process of attempting to replicate the published results, but had been unable to do so thus far. He said they have no evidence of fabrication (outside of the discrepancies, there are no apparent problems with the original data), but, nonetheless, were concerned other scientists might rely on those results and waste time and honey. As possible reasons why their experiments didn't replicate the other researcher's, he suggested the samples may have been mislabeled or too old, but did not rule out fabrication. We asked the senior author notify us if, in the course of his research, he acquires evidence indicating the data were fabricated. Until then, we have no evidence of fabrication; accordingly, this case is closed. 1 (footnote redacted). 2 (footnote redacted). 3 (footnote redacted). 4 (footnote redacted). 5 (footnote redacted). 6 (footnote redacted).
Data Tampering / Sabotage / Fabrication
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2003-08-08.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)