Scientists Admit They Fake Data And Avoid Reporting Commerical Conflicts
Faking scientific data and failing to report commercial conflicts of interest are far more prevalent than previously thought, a study suggests.
One in seven scientists says that they are aware of colleagues having seriously breached acceptable conduct by inventing results. And around 46 per cent say that they have observed fellow scientists engage in “questionable practices”, such as presenting data selectively or changing the conclusions of a study in response to pressure from a funding source.
However, when scientists were asked about their own behaviour only 2 per cent admitted to having faked results.
Daniele Fanelli, of the University of Edinburgh, who carried out the investigation, believes that high-profile cases such as that of Hwang Woo-Suk, the South Korean scientist disgraced for fabricating human stem cell data, are less unusual than is generally assumed. “Increasing evidence suggests that known frauds are just the tip of the iceberg and that many cases are never discovered,” he said.