Data Tampering / Sabotage / Fabrication

Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2014-10-02.

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: A12110075                                                                         Page 1 of 1

                  A uillversity 1 notified us that it was investigating allegations against one of its former
         graduate students2 for data fabrication and falsification in research she conducted with 2 different
         Pls 3 using funds she received under an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program award. We
         concurred with the university that an investigation was warranted. At the conclusion of its
         investigation, the university provided us with its report wherein it found that the former student
         lacked the intent necessary to support a finding of research misconduct.

                  We reviewed the report which described three different data sets that the subject agreed
         demonstrated bias and were therefore invalid. The bias was consistently in the direction of the
         hypothesis and the uillversity identified no accidental or inadvertent means by which the student had
         become un-blinded to the experimental conditions. Neither of the Pis' labs had taken measures to
         secure the key to the randomized experimental conditions for each trial or to require independent
         reliability coding prior to the student's dissertation defense. Despite these circumstances, there was
         insufficient evidence to substantiate by a preponderance that the student had a culpable level of
         intent (i.e., at least reckless).

                   Accordingly, this case is closed.


NSF OIG Form 2 (11/02)