Monday, November 7, 2011

Dutch researcher fabricated data

The case of Dutch social psychologist Diederik Stapel from the University of Tilburg has made headlines in many countries. I just want to make a short note so that the articles are linked here. He fabricated data on a large scale for several dozen publications, including Science, so that the data better fit what he wanted to prove.

  • Spiegel article (in German)
  • Chronicle article on the extent of the fraud
  • Chronicle article on how he managed to fool people
The Science article, published in April of this year, has not yet been retracted. But the editors have added links to articles about the fraud.

Stapel seems to have often offered colleagues "data" that fit their hypotheses, thus being listed as co-author. They now have to deal with the retractions.

Six young researchers were the whistleblowers in the case, apparently some tenured professors had felt something was wrong, but did not have the courage to act on their instincts.


  1. Please don't spam my comments - comments should deal with the article and not with things you would like me to discuss here.

  2. I am sick and tired of the personal attacks that the commenter has been hurling my way. I have deleted the entry that contained a link to his web page. Real scientists don't call each other nasty names.

  3. I am afraid that many Ph.D. dissertations have falsification data and cooked results.
    They cook the statistics, the have false data etc....
    Supervisors must be very careful because the other examiners usually do not read the Ph.D. Thesis at all. Only the Supervisor can read it, but some of them with many ph.d. candidates do not have time to do it.

  4. Since you work on this topic, please, try to find other cases via the web and put them in this blog.
    Also, in many European Countries many students cheat in the examinations (i.e. have some hidden notes in their sleeves, they copy form others examinees etc...). We have this problem in Spain.


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