Thursday, October 8, 2009

Scientists punished for inventing publications

According the the NDR, the German research funding organization DFG has decided on the punishments for the involvement of 13 researchers in listing invented publications on their report about past funding and request for new.

Two professors for agroecology, the speaker of the research team (Sonderforschungsbereich) and the leader of a graduate study program (Graduiertenkolleg), have been suspended from holding any sort of office within the DFG for three years. The DFG found that they should have been examples of good scientific conduct for the people they were training, and for failing this, have been suspended.

Three other scientists will be issued written reprimands. The reasoning is that their careers are not to be destroyed, but it is to be made clear that inventing publications for a report on funding is unacceptable.

In all, 54 publications by 13 scientists were found to be non-existent, additional publications were falsely noted to be already published when they were, in fact, only submitted for publication.

Additionally, the University of Göttingen will have to pay back an as yet undisclosed sum of money, and there are criminal charges of fraud being brought against the speaker.

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