As we all know, budgets are getting tighter in some areas and unfortunately this leads to more competition and thus there are those wanting funds that are either exaggerating their journal findings or sometimes just flat out publishing what might be called a form of fiction that is perhaps close but not the real results. Software and and analytics are helping identify some of this activity as chances are the same was used to substantiate some of the information published. It would seem it has to have the ability to be re-created of course.
When fraud is caught the results can be devastating, and some even go further to cover it up with a lab for an example at stake of losing their credentials over such publications. One of the doctors quoted said that the folks that are real good at faking it are hard to catch. So the next step of course is to retract such publications and that is difficult too as the original document may have had a lot of media coverage if substantial enough to be considered big news or a break through. Software can also be a help with catching plagiarism with images and same exact words used in other documents.
It is mentioned here too that psychology is one area that is hard to monitor. In addition to inaccurate information published we also have this, mislabeled lab tissues which goes back a number of years and is a real problem as researchers find out all their information published is not authentic simply because they were supplied mislabeled tissue and big philanthropy organizations have financed some of these projects. So you have a ton of research that is not accurate here again and not due to the researcher but rather the lab tissues, so here’s the lab needing to make a decision to come clean. It’s kind of a real bad spot as nobody intentionally wrote a bad paper here, but it goes back to the labeling and it has been reported that cover ups occur here too.
One of the most publicized stories was the big story at Duke University with flawed data. This one made it all the way up to 60 Minutes. The researcher published fiction and his own credentials had a bit of fiction included. What was disturbing here is the fact that the story states they reversed the algorithms and then the “sold” theories were not true. Ok so we have math in the picture with software formulas…I called this entry Chapter 15 in the Attack of the Killer Algorithms where a researcher falsified enough material to where clinical trials were to be initiated on what was reported.
Ok so we are back to one of the topics I harp on here and that is the use of Killer Algorithms. It happens outside of research too and you can also check out the link below for a view on how this functions in the financial markets with “making the numbers work”. I like technology and what it does and the treatments and cures that come out of research for sure but there are always those that play the other side of the fiddle for profit, no matter what the cost is and that’s sad, so I continue on writing about “flawed data” and the need to ensure that we are all not “Algo Duped” in one form or another. Great video at the link below with programmers and a quant discussing how this evolves from their side and how they make big money doing it, but the conscience ends up winning out here with most as they know they are writing some fictional math and formulas. Algo Duping lives amongst us.
Research that is bogus costs money for all as it could be information related to the creation of new drugs for one example or treatments. When mislabeled lab information gets combined with fictionalized research, we don’t have anything to build upon. Sometimes though too we have legitimate mistakes that occur and hats off to those who admit they made an error. We are still human. You kind of wonder with the investment money at stake at times if some of the “make the numbers work” ethics that are in the financial areas drift over here? I might venture to say there’s a pretty good chance of those types of occurrences…let’s revisit the Duke case.
The questions are certainly intriguing, but unfortunately for anyone wanting truthful answers, some of Smeesters' work turned out to be fraudulent .