Data Tampering / Sabotage / Fabrication Intellectual Theft

Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2017-02-15.

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: A15090051                                                                         Page 1of1

         We received the following allegations:

                •Allegation 1: A University professor (Subject 1) 1 committed intellectual theft by using a
                   former U{Ldergraduate student' s2 ideas without adequate attribution in a published
                   article (Article 1). 3
                •Allegation 2: Subject 1 violated journal guidelines4 by not obtaining a former student's
                   informed consent before altering the authorship of their co-authored article (Article 2). 5
                • Allegation3: A former post-doc (Subject 2) 6 of Subject 1 fabricated and/or falsified
                   content contained in his dissertation7 and in two of his publications (Articles 3). 8

         Article 1, Article 2, and Articles 3 acknowledged NSF support, and Subject 2 received NSF
         funding while a graduate student. Our review of the evidence did not substantiate Allegation 1 or
         Allegation 3, and determined Allegation 2 was not within our jurisdiction.

         Regarding Allegation 1, we found the former student worked in Subject 1's laboratory and they
         co-authored reports related to this line of research. Therefore it is reasonable for Subject 1 to re-
         use the material he co-authored without committing intellectual theft. Regarding Allegation 2, we
         determined the allegation related to a violation of journal guidelines and not an NSF policy or
         regulation, making the journal, rather than NSF OIG, the appropriate venue for this allegation.
         Regarding Allegation 3, we determined the matter did not constitute falsification or fabrication,
         but instead represented a scientific difference of opinion, which is best addressed within the
         literature itself through publishing divergent views.

                   Accordingly, this case is closed with no further action taken.

NSF OIG Form 2 (11/02)