CLOSEOUT FOR CASE M99010005 On 15 January 1999, a program manager1 brought us an e-mail message he had received from the complainant2that contained allegations of misconduct in science. The complainant alle ed that the confidentiality of peer review for an NSF proposal, submitted by another scientist! had been breached. He said that the subject4 had taken ideas (intellectual theft) contained in the NSF proposal and used them in his co-authored conference paper.5 In addition, the subject had used information discussed in the NSF proposal about a foreign-based company6 that was contracted to build a device designed by the company employing the scientist. As a result, the subject's company7purchased an identical device from the foreign-based company. The complainant explained that the only way the subject could have learned about the ideas he presented in his conference paper and about the availability of the device fiom the foreign-based company was fiom the scientist's NSF proposal. The complainant said that the foreign-based company built two of these devices, one of which was purchased by the company employing the scientist. We learned that the subject's conference paper was presented and published 1 day before the NSF program mailed the scientist's proposal to the ad hoc reviewer^.^ Consequently, the copies of the proposal sent out for peer review by NSF could not have been the source of any ideas contained in the subject's conference paper. In addition, we learned that the subject worked as a representative for the foreign-based company that had been contracted to construct the device. Although we neither confirm nor deny whether the subject or any other individual affiliated with the subject's company reviewed the scientist's NSF proposal, there was no reason to suspect that the subject obtained any information about the device from the scientist's NSF proposal since he already had a direct working relationship with the foreign-based company. We concluded that there was no evidence that the subject, or any of the ad hoe reviewers, breached the confidentiality of peer review. This inquiry is closed and no further action will be taken. cc: Integrity, IG. Page 1 of 1 M 99-05
Intellectual Theft Peer Review violation
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 1999-06-24.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)