NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM Case Number: A-04070052 11 Page 1 of 1 We received an allegation that two figures representing essentially the same data appeared to have been falsified or fabricated. We observed that the two figures, one in a publication' and the other in a t h e ~ i sindicated ,~ they presented the same results. However, the figures were not identical. Further, neither the publication, nor the thesis, contained the actual data used to produce these figures, making an evaluation of this issue difficult. Although there were several co-authors on the publication,3 the common link between the figures involved two scientists, subjects 1 and L ? . ~ When asked to explain this issue, the subjects, responded separately and on more than one occasion, provided limited and confusing information. As a result of these responses, we were unable to determine if there was sufficient substance to proceed to an investigation. Therefore, we referred the inquiry to the appropriate institution5 to determine if there was substance to the allegation.6 The institution thoroughly compared the figures to the original data, which it procured from the laboratory at which it was originally taken. It concluded that the discrepancies found between the original data and the figures and between the figures was the consequence of egregious carelessness. It alBo determined that, although there were discrepancies, the overall data as presented in the figures did not change the focus of the conclusions drawn. The institution criticized both subjects for their carelessness. It concluded that no research misconduct had occurred. We found the institution had done a careful and thorough inquiry. We concurred with its conclusion and, accordingly, we wrote to each subject emphasizing the institution's conclusion concerning their carelessness. This case is closed and no further action will be taken. ISF OIG Form 2 (1 1/02)
Data Tampering / Sabotage / Fabrication
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2006-10-13.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)