Sunday, July 10, 2011

Doctoral Plagiarism Elsewhere

Plagiarized doctoral theses are not only to be found in Germany. Janet Stemwedel reports on Adventures in Ethics and Science on the case of chemist Bengü Sezen. She links to Chemical & Engineering News with a report on the dissertation and three other papers. She quotes:
The documents—an investigative report from Columbia and HHS’s subsequent oversight findings—show a massive and sustained effort by Sezen over the course of more than a decade to dope experiments, manipulate and falsify NMR and elemental analysis research data, and create fictitious people and organizations to vouch for the reproducibility of her results. ...
A notice in the Nov. 29, 2010, Federal Register states that Sezen falsified, fabricated, and plagiarized research data in three papers and in her doctoral thesis. Some six papers that Sezen had coauthored with Columbia chemistry professor Dalibor Sames have been withdrawn by Sames because Sezen’s results could not be replicated. ...
By the time Sezen received a Ph.D. degree in chemistry in 2005, under the supervision of Sames, her fraudulent activity had reached a crescendo, according to the reports. Specifically, the reports detail how Sezen logged into NMR spectrometry equipment under the name of at least one former Sames group member, then merged NMR data and used correction fluid to create fake spectra showing her desired reaction products.
Correction fluid? I thought that state-of-the-art fakes used Photoshop these days.

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