Closeout for M97020004 This case was brought to the attention of OIG) January 1997. A program manager1 provided our office with a letter she had received from a ~cientist.~The letter described allegations of fabrication against a graduate student3and the university's actions to resolve the matter. OIG's investigation report and NSF's Deputy Director's 9 February 1999 letter describing his decision constitute the closeout for this case. Cc: Integrity, IG Page 1 of 1 M97-04 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION 4201 WILSON BOULEVARD ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 22230 February 9 , 1999 OmCE OF M E DEPUTY DIRECTOR CERTIFIED MAIL-RETURN RECEIPT REOUESTED Re: Notice of Misconduct in Science Determination Dear Ms. The National Science Foundation's Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an Investigative Report on October 1, 1998 in which it concluded that you fabricated research data in your Ph.D. thesis. A copy of the OIG investigative report is enclosed. J'4isconduct in Science and Proposed sanctions Under the National Science Foundation's (NSF.) regulations, umisconductuis defined to include "fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing, carrying out, or reporting results from activities funded by N S F . " 4 5 CFR. §689.1(a). The Foundation's administrative record indicates that YOU were formerly a doctoral student in the ~e~artment at the 'University of you submitted a thesis to ob Your thesis research was S U D D O ~ ~ ~ ~ In 1996, allegations arose that the measurements in two chapters of your thesis were fabricated. A University Committee investigated the allegations and concluded that you fabricated research data by cutting and pasting to eliminate actual data and add new features (Ex W I I I N The Committee concluded that tite heart of [the] dissertation Iwasl based on fraudulent datai1and it found "a very clear pattern that undermines the entire basis for the research reported in the dissertation." (Exhibit 1A). You did not contest the majority of the allegations and withdrew your thesis. The University rescinded your Ph.D. degree in February of 1997. The University also took additional measures to notify the appropriate institutions of the research fabrication. NSF's Office of Inspector General conducted its own investigation and agrees with the Committee that you fabricated research data. OIG concludes that you deliberately fabricated the data and that you committed a serious deviation from accepted practices. I concur with the Committee and the OIG1s conclusion that you fabricated data in your Ph.D. thesis. The record demonstrates that you deliberately fabricated the data by cutting and pasting spectra. Your fabrication of significant research data in your Ph.D. thesis is a serious deviation from accepted practices within the scientific community. I conclude that you committed misconduct in science. In deciding what action is appropriate to take in response to the finding of misconduct in science, NSF has considered the seriousness of the misconduct, whether it was deliberate or careless; whether it was an isolated event or part of a pattern; and whether the misconduct affects only certain funding requests or has implications for any application for funding involving the subject of the misconduct finding. See 4 5 C.F.R. §689.2(b). I am issuing this finding of misconduct in science and letter of reprimand to express strong disapproval of your conduct in this matter. Research fabrication is a serious offense because it distorts the scientific record. The scientific record is the foundation for all scientific research. In determining the appropriate sanction, however, I conclude that further action is not necessary to protect the Government's interest becau6.e theuniversitv took numerous stews to address the fabrication and ou have azvised NSF that you-have not worked in the field of -since you forfeited your degree. Nevertheless, if you submit any research proposals or reports to NSF or report on the results of NSF-supported research within three years from the date of this letter, you must submit a separate certification to NSFts OIG. The written certification shall state that to the best of your knowledge, the documents contain no fabricated or falsified data. The certification should be sent to the Associate Inspector General for Scientific Integrity, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, 22230, at the same time that you submit the research proposal or report to NSF or report the results of NSF-funded research. In addition, the supervisor or principal investigator of the project must also submit an assurance to the OIG that to the best of his or her knowledge, your research proposal or report submitted to NSF, or report of results from NSF-funded research does not contain any falsified or fabricated data. Procedures Governins Ameals Under NSF1s regulations, you have 30 days after receipt of this letter to submit an appeal of this decision, in writing, to the Director of the Foundation. 4 5 CFR §689.9(a).. Any appeal should be addressed to the Director at the National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson~Boulevard,Arlington, Virginia 22230. For your information we are attaching a copy of the applicable regulations. If you have an questions about the foregoing, please call Lawrence Rudolph, General Counsel, at (703) 306-1060.' Joseph Bordogna C/Acting Deputy Director Enclosures (21 Misconduct in Science Regulations Investigative Report Confidential Office of Inspector General Investigation Report OIG Case M97020004 1 October 1998 REPORT OF INVESTIGATION INTO AN ALLEGATION OF MISCONDUCT IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING SUMMARY The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has subject), formerly a graduate student at the University of fabricated data in her Ph.D. thesis. This cohclusion is based on investigations by the institution and OIG. OIG recommends that NSF make a finding of misconduct in science and send the subject a letter of reprimand notifying her that NSF has made that finding. BACKGROUND The subject received her PhD. in from the institution on- ~ e thesis research r was supported in part by an NSF award' After she left the d t u t i o n , she asked another student to bring her a box that she had left behind in her Ph.D. advisor's laboratory. A postdoctoral student, who had been attempting without success to reproduce the subject's measurements, discovered evidence of fabricated research data in the box.2 The evidence was reviewed by the (the Committee) ~ e a n ) .The ~ subject did not contest the her, and as a result, returned her Ph.D. degree and withdrew her thesis. The subject also apologized to the College of Arts and Sciences, the D e p a r t m e n t , and her 'Ph.D. advi~or.~ The subject's degree was rescinded by the institution-no The subject's Ph.D. advisor informed ;his NSF program officer about the matter and, at the program officer's request, summarized the incident and the institution's response in a letter. That letter was forwardedito OIG at the request of the institutioa5 disputed. Letter fiom the subject to Associate Dean at 1 (1 October 1996) (exhibit 1C); letter fiom the subject's Ph.D. advisor to Chair of the j~ornrnitteeat 1 (25 June 1996) (exhibit 1B). 3 Letter from Committee to Associate Dean (25 June 1996) (exhibit 1A). 4 Letter from the subject to Associate Dean at 2 (1 October 1996) (exhibit 1C). ' The letter, dated 15 November 1996, was forwarded to OIG on 24 January 1997. Pursuant to a + - subpoena issued 25 March 1997, OIG requested and obtained copies of documents relating to the institution's investigation into and actions taken in response to the allegation that the subject had fabricated data in the course of1 her thesis research. During the course of reviewing the material provided by the institution, OIG requested and received additional documents: on 5 June 1998, a copy of the Subject's thesis and, on 20 August 1998, the original documents that were attached to the 25 June 1996 letter fiom the subject's Ph.D. advisor to the Chair of the Committee. I I THE INSTITUTION'S INVESTIGATION According to the subject's Ph.D. advisor, chapter two of the thesis reported the presented in ch ter two of the thesiskere kabricated.* None ofthese measurements 9 were published. The subject's Ph.D. advisor also alleged that one measurement in chapter three of the subject's thesis was fabriqated and that this fabricated measurement was published.'0 I , The Committee that reviewed the evidence of fabrication was composed of five faculty members f b m the Department of The Committee recommended that the subject's Ph.D. degree be rescinded. I I The Committee explained that in their r&ew of the case: ! [The Committee] learned that the key chapter of the dissertation[, chapter two,] involved essentially three kinds of measurements . . A thorough.. review of the results of this chapter revealed t h a t and .) r e p o r t e d in the thesis had been altered through cutting and pasting to eliminate actual data and add new spectral features where none appeared in authentic spectra. Fabri4tion of-spectral results was also found in a second chaptea, chaptkr three,] that has been published. I I 6The catalyst is '~etterfrom the subject's m o - ~ & e at 1 & June 1996) @,bit . two of the thesis also included a study of the kinetics of one of the ctions. The subject's Ph.D. advisor also alleged that some s p e c t r a with no thesis counterparts were fkbricated and used to make presentation overheads illustrating how the kinetics of ' ere followed. Id. at 1-2. Evidence of this fabrication fimn the box the sub=is available for review in our administrative NSF support. 1 479. The author informed OIG that this paper ~ l belcorrected. I The rest of the work in that chapter wad carried out by [a collaborator] and is in order. Our review leads us to the kery clear conciusion that the heart of [the subject's] dissertation is based dn fraudulent data These instances are not isolated, but constitute a very/clear pattern that undermines the entire basis for the research reported in h e di~sertation.~"~ I I The Associate Dean notified the subjdt of the allegations against her, and after discussing the allegations with her Ph.D. advisfr,I2 the subject called the Associate Dean. The subject told him that she had decided to ,return her Ph.D. thesis and degree to the institution, and requested a copy of her Ph.Dj advisor's letter detailing the allegations. The Associate Dean provided the requested document and asked the subject to respond to each of the allegations." I In her response to the Associate Deap, the subject did not contest her PhD. advisor's allegations that spectra for ~ e t e m + a t i o n and-analyses s reported in chapter two of her thesis were fabricated. The subject did, however, contest the allegations concerning the 0measurkments reported in chapters two and three of her thesis. In the last paragraph of her respobe, the subject said: I + In conclusion, I will not contbt the majority of charges filed against me by [my Ph.D. advisor] regs-g [clhapters [t]wo and [tlhree of my Ph.D. [tlhesis. As a result, I am p m i n g the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the [institution] and yithdrawing my thesis h m the College of Arts and Sciences. I loo4 forward to putting this incident behind [me] and wish to thank you [personally for all the help and guidance. you have given me during the' recent events. I apologize to the college of Arts and Sciences, the e p a r t m e n t , and to [my Ph.D. advisor] for tarnishing the reputation of the institution^.'^ i - The institution rescinded the subject's t h . ~ degree . -no The institution's registrar also took steps to ensurelthat all transcripts issued for the subject would include a letter stating: "To Whom It h a y Concern: This student's degree was revoked for academic disciplinary reasons. duestions regarding this student may be directed to the office of the Dean of The ~ o l l e ~ e . " ' ~ -no the Vice Provost fAr Research and Graduate Affairs (Vice Provost) sent a memorandum to the institution's administrators, the Chair of the Department of and members ok the subject's dissertation committee informing them of the rescission of the subj'ect's Ph.D. degree. The memorandum - I II Letter from Committee to Associate Dean at 1 (25 Itme 1996) (exhibit 1A) 12 The subject discussed the allegations with her Ph.?. advisor a L 13 14 which was held at the University of 7 during )he week o Letter from Associate Dean to the subject I6 A u y t 1996). Letter from the subject to Associate Dean at 2 (1 Optober 1996) (exhibit 1C). IS Memorandum from University Registrar to Vice Provost (12 March 1997). I directed that, if a letter of recommendation had been written on behalf of the subject, or if any organization had been contacted about the laward of the subject's Ph.D., each person and organization previously contacted should lbe notified that the subject's degree had been rescinded. l6 The Vice Provost also fo-ly notified all organizations that had been informed of the institution's conferral of the Fbject's degree that the degree had been rescinded. The Provost notified the presiden) of the university where the subject had taught of the rescission of her degree." The ProvostLinformed the subject of the institution's action rescinding her degree and ofithenotifications of that action sent by the institution to specific individuals and ~ r ~ a n i z a t i ~ n s . ' ~ 01G obtained from the institution copies of documents relating to the subject, including the subject's student reconis, and copies of documents relating to the institution's investigation into and actions takb in response to the allegation that the subject had fabricated data in the course of per thesis rescaroh. OIG also obtained original documents from the box left behind by the subject." On 26 August 1998, OIG sent the subject copies of documents obtained from the institution and asked for her comments on the allegations and any addition4 information she wanted to provide. The subject said: I My official response regarding the I specifics of allegations of data fabrication in the course of my doctoral research was outlined in my letter to [the Associate Dean] [of 11 October 1996. Thus, I will not restate it here other than to say I did not contht the majority of charges when presented to me by [my Ph.D. advisor] y d do not now. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to express my deep regret for the situation, I alone, have created. After much reflktion, I am truly ashamed of my actions which have tarnished the repu4tion of a professor, a department, and a university along with breaching the trust of those closest to me.?' NSF defines "misconduct in scienck," in pertinent part as "fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other serious deviation from accepted ractices in pmposing, canying out, or reporting results fiom activitiel fimded by NSF." P The subject in this ' case was a graduate student, who received a stipend from her Ph.D. advisor's NSF award during the course of her thesis research. Her research supplies and expendables were I %emorandurn from Vice Provost to Acting Dean i f The College, Associate Dean,Chair of the Department of the subject's Ph.D. advisor, and members of the subject's - dissertation 17 Letter fiom Provost to President of -university (5 March 1997). I "Letter from Provost to the subject (19 March 1 9974. I 9These documents were attached to the 25 June 1996 letter (exhibit 1B) from the subject's Ph.D. advisor. 20 Letter from the subject to OIG (1 September 1998) (emphasis in original) (exhibit ID). "45 C.F.R. § 689.2(a)(l). charged to that award. There can be no doubt that fabrications that undermine the basis for research reported in a graduate student's thesis and lead the student to accede to the rescission of a conferred Ph.D. degree are a lserious deviation from accepted practices and, therefore, misconduct in science under NSF's regulation. Below, we present the evidence thit supports our conclusion that t h e m determinations, s p e c t r a , and a l F e s were fabricated. ~abricatedm I eterminations in Thesis Cha~terTwo I High pressure liquid chromatography @LC) is used to separate multiple chemical compounds that are dissolved in sblution. HPLC instruments consist of a reservoir of solution, a pump, an injector, a lseparation column, and a detector. The compounds in solution are separated by injecting a sample fiom the reservoir onto the column. The diffkent compounds in solution $ass through the column at different rates, and the detector records the diffkrent compounhs as they come out of the column. HPLC instruments produce chromatograms, graphs? showing the compounds corning off the column over time; the peaks on the chromatograms correspond to the retention times, the time at which each different compound comes but of the column. Exhibits 2A, JA, and 4A are figures 1./5,2.16, and 2.17 from chapter two of the subject's thesis. These figures are HPLC chromatograms that purportedly demonstrate meterminations for certain chemical reactiobs. Exhibits 2B, 3B, and 4B are copies of documents h m the box left behind by the bbject that demonstrate that the subject fabricated these HPLC chromatograms for her fhesis." In the chromatograms of exhibits 2B, 3B, and 4B,cutting and taping is apparent in the graphs and in the numbers below the graphs. The graphs in these chromatograms lare composed of several small pieces of I paper taped together. The pieces of papa haye been carefhlly matched at the edges so that the resulting graph appears to be a single continuous line. I I The shapes of the graphs in the chrom~togramsof thesis figures 2.15, 2.16, and 2.17 are identical to the shapes of the graphs in the cut-and-taped chromatograms, although some of the numbers (graph labels ar/d numbers below the graphs) in the thesis figures are not the same as in the cut-and-taped chromatograms. The identical shapes of the graphs are significant because random feahes in chromatograms, such as noise on a graph's baseline, will not be the same in twb different c h m m a t o ~ - - e v e nin two chromatograms produced by repeating exactly the same analysis. If the same random features occur in the shapes of the graphs in hJo chromatograms then the same graph was used in both. The peaks on the graphs in the dut-and-taped chromatograms are identical %e vertical axis on these graphs is time (inCreasidgfkom top to bottom). - q w o copies of each document are included in ex$bits 2B,3B, and 4B: the first copy was made with enhanced contrast, and the second, with normal contrast. The enhancedcontrast copies of these documents allow the cutting and taping lin the original documents, which are available for review in our administrative record, to show clearly in the copies attached to this report. The handwritten notation on the document in Lxhibit 2B, "same as thesis fig p. 68 except I retention time changed[,]" was added by the subject's Ph.D. advisor after the document was removed from the box. to the peaks in the three thesis figures; modver, the very small "noise" features on the baselines on the graphs in the cut-and-taped dhromato-s are identical to those in the three thesis figures. Even though all of the ribbers in the chromatograms in the thesis figures are not the same as those in the cut-and-taped chromatograms, OIG concludes that both chromatograms contain the same fabricatkd graph. The subject does not contest the charge that the =determinations in chapter two of her thesis were fabri~ated.'~ Fabricated Soectra in Thesis Chapter Two I dPectroscopy is a method used in chemistry to provide unique infonnation about molecules! The d i f f m t peaks in an- spectnim ). comspond to resonances in the molecular stru~ture of the sample analyzed. Analyses of 9 s p e c t r a depend on recognizing patterns the peaks of the spectra. Exhibit 5A is figure 2.5 from chaptd two of the subject's thesis, which is an e c purportedly demonstrating that she had obtained a successfid result h m a I experiment. Exhibit SB is an spectrum from the box the subject left behind 'that is the product of culling and taping. Spectral features in exhibit 5B were created by taping into place small pieces of paper with peaks and eliminated by taping small *es of paper with noisy baselines over existing peaks. The spectral features have been canfilly matched at the edges of the small pieces of paper so that the resulting spectrum appears to be a single continuous line. Although exhibit 5B is not itself h m the thedis (it appears to be an overhead slide that would be used in an oral presentation), thy fabricated spectrum in this document, including peaks and noisy baselines, is identical to the spectrum in thesis figure 2.5." The subject's PLD. advisor alleged thai spectra in chapter two of the subject's thesis were the result of "doctoring"l and that -resonances were added to The subject contes!ed the charge that the r e s o n a n c e s in were additions to spectra. She said: "[tlhe original spectrum is that of the substrate do The corresponding- spectra are that of two separate substrate pools and thus lead to the differences in chemical shift of the products.i" While the subject's explanation may accurately describe the origin of pieces of s p e c t r a that she used in creating exhibits 5A and 5B, OIG does not believe that explanation does or can justify creating spectra by cutting and taping 24 Letter fmm the subject to OIG (1 September 1498) (exhibit ID); letter from the subject to - Associate Dean at I (1 October 1996) (exhibit I?. 25 An enhanced-contrast copy of the document and a normalcontrast copy are included in exhibit SB. 26 Additional evidence of fabricated- spectra d m the box the subject isfi behind is available 27 28 for review in our administrative record. Letter fiom the subject's P ~ . Dadvisor . o d ~ to chair committee (25 June 1996) (exhibit LB). I 1996) Letter from the subject to Associate Dean (1 October (exhibit 1 C). Having considered the evidence fro4 the box the subsect lefi behind and the subject's response to the allegation, OIG concludes that the J spectra in chapter two of the subject's thesis were fabricated. Fabricated s p e c t r u m in Thesis chapter Three that Was Published Exhibit 6A contains figure 3.6(d) fro+ chapter three of the subject's thesis, an -spectrum that pluportedly demonstrates a successful result in certain experiments. The s i g n i f i c a n ~ r e s o n a n c ehthis figure is the most prominent feature in the between -1 7 and -1 8; (his resonance has a peak extending below the baseline closely associated Mth a peak extending above the baseline. The same spectrum was also published in two papers, d shown in exhibits 6 8 and 6 ~ We : will ~ I mfer to this spectnun as the published spectrum. I Exhibit 6D is an s p e c t r u m , fbml the box left behind by the subject, that is the product of cutting and tapinggJOExhibit 6b was created by taping eight small pieces of paper containing diffkrent spectral featuresI including resonances and noisy baseline segments, to a blank sheet of paper. A labelq axis has been taped below the spectrum. The spectral features have been carefully matched at the edges of the small pieces of paper so that the resulting spectrum appears to1be a single continuous line. Although the published spectrum is not identical to the cut-and-taped spectrum of exhibit 6D (for example, the same prominent feature appearing near -9.8 in the published spectrum appears near -9.3 in the cut-and-taped spec+), the published spec- incorporates some of the cut-and-taped features. OIG believes that any spectrum that incorporates cut- and-taped features, without explicitly acknowltdging such manipulation, was fabricated. The noisy baseline between -18 and -20 in the published spectnun is identical to the cut- and-taped-spectnun, which in this region is composed of two smaller pieces. The published spectrum and the cut-and-taped spytrum are also the same between -1 1 and -17, a region that includes a prominent feature along with noisy baseline. The cut-and- taped spectrum in this region, too, is composed of several smaller pieces. The subject rejected her PhD. advisorstCharge that the I )resonances in these spectra were fabricated, arguing that the y g e d l y fraudulent published data "was observed at the reported chemical shift during one experiment. This result was never reproduced by myself."' OIG believes that obsewhg the desired effect in one of her experiments does not and cannot justify the subject's misrepresentation of spectra, mated to reproduce her alleged observatibns, as data actually obtained in her experiments. Having considered the evidence fiom the box the subject lefi behind and the subject's response to the allegation, OIG concludes that the published spectnun, in thesis 6D. 31 Letter from the subject to Associate Dean (1 Octokr 1996) (emphasis in original) (exhibit IC). figure 3.6(d) (exhibit 6A), figure 3(d) (exhibit 6B), and figure 10(d) (exhibit 6C), was . fabricated. Fabricated A n a l y s e s in Thesis khapter Two I In a m d y s i s , chemical compo&ds dissolved in solution are separated by , J -18 then passed t h r o u i a e c t m m e t e r The different compounds pass through the chromatograph kt different rates. The peaks on the showing the output of )thel o v e r t h e , correspon to the different compounds. As each compound emerges h m the a fed into a mass spectrometer. he -specqmeter separates fragments of the input compound by moleculaf weight. Peaks are obsewed in the mass . - spectrum at the mass of each kind of molecule and molecular hgment. These peaks identify the compounds dissolved in solution. I Unlike the evidence discussed above c/~ncemingthe-det erminations and the -spectra, actual cut-and-taped instrument output for the a l y s e s is lacking. OIG believes that the evidence provided to us)by the institution, however, supports the allegation-and the Committee's conclusion-+at the -analyses were fabricated. Thesis figure 2.13, an example of the I).analysis in chapter two of the subject's thesis, is attached as exhibit 7A. Two results, h m the box the subject left behind, are attached as exhibits 7B and 7C. Exhibits 7B and 7C were not included in the subject's thesis, but are integral to the analysis leading to thesis figure 2.13. The lower plots in exhibits 7B and 7C are the mass spectra presented in thesis figures 2.13(a) and (c), respectively; the upper plots in exhibits 7B and 7C are t were not included in the thesis. The faint lines and shaded m&gs highlighted ontxhibits 7B and 7C are the "effkct of cutting-and-taping)' described by the subject's PhD. advisor a s evidence that th-sults were fabricated." Aside fiom the evidence of cutting-and-taping, the subject's Ph.D. advisor told OIG that the experiments leading to thesis f i d e 2.13 were unlikely to produce t h e m d a t a in the upper plots of exhibits 7B and 7C or the data in thesis figure 2.13. First, he pointed out that the exhibits 7B and 7C contain only single peaks (near 11 minutes) -of y s . He told OIG .that if the reaction studied in thesis figure 2.13 were analyzed with a the resulting s h o u l d have included beaks corresponding to other compounds during a 25-minute analysis, in addition to th$ single product peaks shown in the # i n exhibits 7B and 7C. Second, the subject's Ph.D. advisor said that another graduate student, who studied the s h e reaction after the subject left the institution, found that the reaction actually took huch longer than the 10 minutes claimed by the subject in the caption to thesis figure2!13. Finally, the subject's Ph.D. advisor explained that e c t r a presented in thesis kgure 2.13 do not reflect the presence of expected, naturally o c c u r r i n ~ s ~ t o ~whiche s , would have introduced additional peaks (shown as vertical lines) in that figure. 32 Letter from the subject's Ph.D. advisor to Chair 1B). 01 thi Committee at 2 (25 J k e 1996) (exhibit The subject does not contest the chargd that she fabricated th-results." OIG's Assessment of the Evidence I Based on our review of the docume&uy evidence provided by the institution, OIG agrees with the Committee that '9, and s p e c t r a reported in the thesis [have] been altered through cutting and pasting to eliminate act@ data and add new spectral features where none appeared Jin authentic spectra."34 The Committee concluded that "the heart of [the subject's] dissertation is based on hudulent data" and found "a very clear pattern that undermines the entire basis for the research reported in the di~sertation."~~ The evidence overwhelmingly suppoq the conclusion that the subject fabricated the spectra and chromatograms discussed Such fabrications required deliberate and carefully planned the objective of misleading the subject's institution into this is willtul conduct. OIG agrees with the Committee that the fabrications, which undermined the basis for the r e s m h reported in her the subject to accede to the rescission of her Ph.D. degree, are a serious h m accepted practices and, therefore, misconduct in science under NSF's regulation. In deciding what actions are appr&riate when misconduct is found, it is appropriate for NSF to consider whether &e subject's acts are part of a p a t t ~ 3 7 Accordingly, we note that several other cut-add-taped spectra ware found in the box the subject left behind." While these cut-anditaped spectra were not included in the subject's thesis, they reflect a pattern of fabrication by the subject. I OIG'S RECO&TION We recommend that NSF afEm the siriousness of the subject's acts by finding that the subject committed misconduct in sciehe and issuing a letter of reprimand. We do not believe fiurher action by the govemmedt is necessary because the actions taken by the institution are adequate to protect the gov&xnment's interests and the subject advises us that she has not worked i n m s i n c e l s h e forfeited her degree. We recommend that NSF develop a notification requirement so that, should the subject perfom federaIly I 33 Letm fmm the subject to OIG (1 September lb98) (exhibit ID); letter from the subject to r, Associate Dean at 1 (1 October 1996) (exhibit 1, ). '4~etterfrom Committee to Associate Dean (25 June 1996) (exhibit 1A). 35 Letter fiom Committee to Associate Dean (25 ~ d 1996) e (exhibit 1A). MOIG concludes that the subject engaged in miscodduct in science based on her fabrication of the determinations, t r a , as discussed above. The subject does not contest the allegations that the and t h e data were fabricated, and the subject admitted the seriousness of the uncon+sted charges by withdrawing her thesis and returning her Ph.D. degree. OIG believes that, even based solely on the uncontested allegations, the subject's fabrications constitute hisconduct in science. "45 C.F.R. 689.2(b)(3). %ee discussion supra note 8.
Data Tampering / Sabotage / Fabrication
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 1999-05-05.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)