Data Tampering / Sabotage / Fabrication

Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2017-03-19.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                                                NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
                                                OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
                                                  OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS

                                          CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM

Case Number: A12020010                                                                       Page 1of1

        A University 1 informed us that it was initiating an investigation into an allegation of data
        falsification against a former graduate student (the Subject2), who was supported by her advisor's
        NSF grant. Since the Subject had graduated with a Ph.D. degree and left the University, she
        claimed the University lacked authority to investigate her and sued to stop the investigation. After
        the court ruled in the University's favor, it began its investigation, culminating in 2-day hearing
        before an Investigative Panel. The Subject told the Investigative Panel she collected two sets of
        data: bad data due to instrument problems followed by good data after she corrected the problem.
        She said she subsequently deleted all her good data, which is why only bad data were found on the
        instruments and the lab computers where the data were analyzed. The Subject's advisor so
        convincingly demonstrated the Subject's data were falsified that the Subject eventually
        acknowledged the data were falsified. However, the Subject then blamed her ex-roommate for
        hackingj11to h_s:LciftJ<!_fll_esJ_Q falsify them. The Universi1y()oncluded th~ Subject falsified data in ____
        her dissertation and provided her advisor with falsified data for publication. It revoked the
        Subject's Ph.D., which the Subject appealed; the Board of Regents upheld the University's
        decision and directed the University President to revoke her Ph.D.
        NSF concurred that the Subject falsified data and took the following actions: issued a letter of
        reprimand conveying a finding of research misconduct, required the Subject to complete an
        interactive responsible conduct ofresearch training course within 1 year, and debarred the Subject
        for 5 years. Accordingly, this case is closed with no further action taken.


NSF OIG Form 2 (11102)