List of scientific misconduct incidents

Scientific misconduct is the violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in the publication of professional scientific research. A Lancet review on Handling of Scientific Misconduct in Scandinavian countries gave examples of policy definitions. In Denmark, scientific misconduct is defined as "intention[al] or gross negligence leading to fabrication of the scientific message or a false credit or emphasis given to a scientist", and in Sweden as "intention[al] distortion of the research process by fabrication of data, text, hypothesis, or methods from another researcher's manuscript form or publication; or distortion of the research process in other ways."[1][2]

A 2009 systematic review and meta-analysis of survey data found that about 2% of scientists admitted to falsifying, fabricating, or modifying data at least once.[3]

Biomedical sciencesEdit

  • Anna Ahimastos-Lamberti (Australia), a former medical researcher, admitted to fabricating scientific results published in numerous international medical journals.[4][5][6] As of 2020 Ahimastos-Lamberti has had nine of her research publications retracted.[7]
  • Bharat Aggarwal (US), a former Ransom Horne, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Cancer Research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center,[8] resigned his position after fraud was discovered in 65 papers published by him in the area of curcumin as a treatment for cancer.[9] As of 2020 Aggarwal has had 29 of his research papers retracted, ten others have received an expression of concern, and 17 others have been corrected.[10][11]
  • Elias Alsabti (Iraq, US), was a medical practitioner who posed as a biomedical researcher. He plagiarized as many as 60 papers in the field of cancer research, many with non-existent co-authors.[12][13][14]
  • Piero Anversa (US, Italy) and Annarosa Leri (US, Italy), collaborators and former researchers at Harvard University, were found in a 2014 investigation to have "manipulated and falsified" data in their research on endogenous cardiac stem cells, and to have included "false scientific information" in grant applications; these events resulted in Partners HealthCare and Brigham and Women's Hospital paying a $10 million settlement to the US government, and pausing a clinical trial based on Anversa and Leri's work.[15][16][17] In October 2018, following many failed replications of their work, Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital called for the retraction of 31 publications from the Anversa/Leri research group.[18] As of 2020, Anversa and Leri have had 19 research publications retracted, 17 others have received an expression of concern, and 11 others have been corrected.[19][20] Anversa and Leri lost a lawsuit they brought against Harvard that claimed the 2014 investigation had damaged their reputations.[21]
  • Edward Awh and graduate student David Anderson (US), formerly of the University of Oregon, retracted nine of their publications due to data fabrication.[22][23] This included an action identified by The Scientist (magazine) as a Top 10 Retraction of 2015.[24]
  • Werner Bezwoda (South Africa), formerly of the University of Witwatersrand, admitted to scientific misconduct in trials on high-dose chemotherapy on breast cancer, stating that he had "committed a serious breach of scientific honesty and integrity."[25][26][27]
  • Philippe Bois (US), chief science officer at Algafeed and former postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, was found by the ORI to have falsified an image to conceal unwanted results in a retracted[28] 2005 paper published in Journal of Cell Biology, and intentionally mislabeled gel lanes in a 2005 paper published in Molecular and Cellular Biology.[29][30]
  • Joachim Boldt (Germany), an anesthesiologist formerly based at the Justus Liebig University Giessen, was stripped of his professorship and criminally investigated for forgery in his research studies.[31] As of 2020 Boldt has had 129 of his research publications retracted.[32][33]
  • C. David Bridges (US), a researcher at Purdue University and formerly at Baylor College of Medicine, was found by a NIH investigation panel to have stolen ideas from a rival's manuscript that Bridges had been asked to review, and used that information to produce and publish his own research.[34][35] The investigating panel described Bridges' conduct as "an egregious misconduct of science that undermines the entire concept and practice of scientific experimentation and ethical responsibility",[36] with NIH later stripping Bridges of his funding.[37]
  • Silvia Bulfone-Paus (Germany, UK), an immunologist at the Research Center Borstel and the University of Manchester, has had 13 of her publications retracted following investigations of alleged scientific misconduct involving image manipulation.[38][39]
  • Cyril Burt was accused posthumously of faking statistics in I.Q. studies, and of inventing two co-authors in questionable papers he had published.[40][41]
  • Ranjit Chandra (Canada), former nutrition researcher at Memorial University of Newfoundland and self-proclaimed "father of nutritional immunology",[42] was in 2015 stripped of his Order of Canada membership following accusations of scientific wrongdoing in his research.[43] In 2015 Chandra lost a $132 million case against the CBC, which in 2006 presented a documentary in which 10 of Chandra's publications were identified as "fraudulent or highly suspicious";[44] Chandra was ordered to pay the CBC $1.6 million to cover the defendant's legal fees.[45] As of 2020 four of Chandra's research publications have been retracted.[46][47]
  • Ching-Shih Chen (US), the former chair of cancer research at The Ohio State University, was investigated by OSU and the federal Office of Research Integrity after being anonymously reported for falsifying data. The investigation found that Chen mishandled images and figures in published papers, "intentionally falsified data", and did not keep any laboratory notebooks on his research, a violation of federal research policies.[48][49][50] As of 2021 Chen has had ten research publications retracted, two other papers have received an expression of concern, and five other papers have been corrected.[51]
  • Carlo M. Croce (US), an oncologist and professor of medicine at Ohio State University, has been the subject of several allegations of scientific misconduct, including data falsification, and related institutional investigations.[52][53][54] Croce has filed lawsuits against critics,[55] including a defamation claim against The New York Times that in 2018 was dismissed,[56] a defamation lawsuit he lost against David Sanders of Purdue University[57][58] and a lawsuit he lost against Ohio State University to reclaim a department chair position from which he was removed.[59] As of 2020, Croce has had ten of his publications retracted, three others have received an expression of concern, and 21 others have been corrected.[60]
  • John Darsee (US), a cardiologist formerly based at Harvard University, fabricated data in published research articles and more than 100 abstracts and book chapters.[61][62] In 1983 Darsee was disbarred for ten years by the US National Institutes of Health.[63] Darsee has had at least 17 of his publications retracted.[64]
  • Dipak Das (US), former director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center, was found in a University investigation to be guilty of 145 counts of fabrication or falsification of research data.[65] Das has had 20 of his publications retracted.[66]
  • Evan B. Dreyer (US), former Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard University Medical School, reported falsified and/or fabricated experimental results in manuscripts and grant applications. In 2000 Dreyer was blocked for 10 years from receiving NIH-sponsored research grants.[67][68][69]
  • Richard Eastell (UK), a medical doctor and Professor at the University of Sheffield, was found in a 2009 General Medical Council hearing to be negligent in making "untrue" and "misleading" declarations involving a trial of the osteoporosis drug Actonel.[70] Eastell had in 2006 resigned as director of research at Sheffield National Health Service Trust following allegations of "financial irregularities" connected to his research program.[71][72][73]
  • Masoumeh Ebtekar (Iran), head of the Iranian Department of Environment at Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, substantially plagiarized several previously-published articles in a 2006 paper that was later retracted.[74][75]
  • Terry Elton (US), Professor of Pharmacology at Ohio State University, was found guilty of scientific misconduct by both a University committee and the Office of Research Integrity.[76][77] Elton has had seven of his publications retracted.[78]
  • Yoshitaka Fujii (Japan), an anesthesiologist, was found to have fabricated data in at least 183 scientific papers, setting what is believed to be a record for the number of papers by a single author requiring retractions. A committee reviewing 212 papers published by Fujii over a span of 20 years found that 126 were entirely fabricated, with no scientific work done. Only 3 were found to be valid. He was also found to have forged the signatures of scientists he listed as co-authors without their knowledge.[79][80][81]
  • Alfredo Fusco (Italy), a cancer researcher at the University of Naples, has since 2012 been under criminal investigation for fraud, including manipulation of images in his published studies.[82][83] As of 2020, Fusco has had 22 of his publications retracted, and an additional four papers have been corrected.[84][85]
  • Dong-Pyou Han (US), former assistant professor of biomedical sciences at Iowa State University, added human antibodies to samples of rabbit blood in an effort to falsely enhance the utility of an experimental HIV vaccine.[86][87] In 2015 Han was sentenced to nearly five years in prison and ordered to return $7.2 million to the NIH.[88]
  • Marc Hauser (US), an evolutionary biologist and former Professor of psychology at Harvard University, was found by a University committee and the US Office of Research Integrity to have fabricated and falsified data in his research.[89][90][91][92]
  • Friedhelm Herrmann and Marion Brach (Germany), formerly of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, admitted to fabricating data in their research on cancer.[93][94] Herrmann has had 21 of his publications retracted.[95]
  • Woo-suk Hwang (Hwang Woo-suk) (South Korea), former Professor of Biotechnology at Seoul National University, was found by a University committee to have committed "deliberate fabrication" in his research on stem cells, and to have coerced female members of his research team to donate their eggs.[96] In 2009 Hwang was found guilty by the Seoul Central District Court of embezzlement and bioethical violations in connection to his research program.[97][98]
  • Sophie Jamal (Canada), former Professor of Medicine at University of Toronto and former staff Endocrinologist at Women's College Hospital, Toronto, falsified data from studies of nitroglycerin compounds in osteoporosis.[99] Results published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2011 were retracted by the Journal in 2016.[100] In 2016 Jamal received a lifetime funding ban from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research[101][102] and in 2018, her license to practice medicine was revoked by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.[103] Jamal has had three of her publications retracted.[104]
  • Santosh Katiyar (US, India), former associate professor at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and the Birmingham VA Medical Center who investigated the effects of "natural products" upon cancer, was in 2017 dismissed from his academic positions following an institutional investigation that found evidence of image manipulation in 20 of his research papers, all of which UAB has called to be retracted.[105][106][107] Katiyar has had 12 of his research papers retracted, and three others have received an expression of concern.[108][109]
  • Kim Tae-kook (South Korea), formerly of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, falsified research on modulating cellular proteins with the synthetic compound CGK733.[110][111]
  • Gideon Koren (Canada), former Director of the Motherisk Program at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, published an article without the informed consent of co-author Nancy Olivieri, and sent her anonymous harassing letters.[112][113] A December 2018 article in The Toronto Star reported apparent problems in more than 400 papers coauthored by Koren, including "inadequately peer-reviewed, failed to declare, and perhaps even obscure, conflicts of interest, and, in a handful of cases, contain lies about the methodology".[114] Koren has threatened a defamation lawsuit against the editor of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring for retracting one of Koren's papers.[115]
  • Steven A. Leadon (US), former professor of radiation oncology and head of the molecular radiobiology program at the University of North Carolina, falsified and fabricated data in his research on DNA repair.[116][117][118] Leadon has had seven of his research papers retracted.[119]
  • Paolo Macchiarini (Sweden, Italy), a thoracic surgeon and researcher formerly at the Karolinska Institutet, was in 2017 found by an ethics review board to have committed research misconduct, including false claims of clinical success and falsely claiming ethical approval for his surgical interventions, in his work on the surgical implantation of artificial trachea seeded with patients' own stem cells.[120][121][122] The review board recommended that six of Macchiarini's publications be retracted.[123] Macchiarini has had eight of his research papers retracted, and two have received an expression of concern.[124]
  • William McBride (Australia), a physician who discovered the teratogenicity of thalidomide, was found by an Australian medical tribunal to have "deliberately published false and misleading scientific reports and altered the results of experiments" on the effects of Debendox/Bendectin on pregnancy.[125][126][127]
  • Alirio Melendez (Singapore), a former immunologist at the National University of Singapore, was found guilty by a University committee of misconduct on an "unprecedented" scale by having fabricated, falsified or plagiarized at least 21 research papers published in international academic journals.[128][129] Melendez has had 14 of his publications retracted.[130]
  • Michael W. Miller (US), former Professor and Chair of Neuroscience at SUNY Upstate Medical University, falsified data in research publications, one manuscript submitted for publication, and four grant applications.[131][132][133] Miller has had three of his research publications retracted.[134][135]
  • Moon Hyung-in (South Korea), former Professor in the Department of Medicinal Biotechnology at Dong-A University (South Korea), used false names and email addresses to "peer review" his own research publications.[136] Moon has had 35 of his research publications retracted.[137]
  • H. M. Krishna Murthy (US), a protein crystallographer and former research associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was found in 2009 by a University committee to be "solely responsible for ... fraudulent data" on protein structures published in nine papers.[138][139] In 2018 the United States Office of Research Integrity placed a 10-year ban on Federal funding for Murthy.[140] As of 2020 ten of Krishna Murthy's publications have been retracted, and two others have received an expression of concern.[141]
  • Haruko Obokata of RIKEN (Japan) falsified data in the widely publicized STAP cell fraud.[142] Obokata has had three research papers retracted.[143]
  • Nobuaki Ozeki (Japan), a stem cell researcher at Aichi Gakuin University, was found in a university report to have "misused images, fabricated data and recycled text in 20 papers".[144] As of 2020 Ozeki has had 19 research papers retracted.[145]
  • David Panka (US), a cancer researcher formerly at the Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was found in 2020 by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity to have "engaged in research misconduct by intentionally, knowingly, and/or recklessly falsifying and/or fabricating Western blot images ... and reusing the same source images or non-correlated images to represent different results."[146][147]
  • Luk Van Parijs (US), Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) fabricated and falsified data in research papers, unpublished manuscripts, and grant applications. He was convicted in 2011 of making a false statement on a federal grant application.[148] Parijs has had five research publications retracted.[149]
  • Malcolm Pearce (UK), former senior consultant and obstetrician at St George's Hospital in London, falsified his claims of successful reimplantation of an ectopic pregnancy,[150][151] and fabricated a study on the effects of human chorionic gonadotrophin on pregnancy outcome.[152] Pearce has had five of his publications retracted.[153]
  • Milena Penkowa (Denmark), a neuroscientist and former Professor at the Panum Institute of the University of Copenhagen, was in 2010 convicted of fraud and embezzlement of research funds, and in 2012 was found to have committed "deliberate scientific malpractice".[154][155][156] In 2017 the University of Copenhagen revoked Penkowa's doctoral degree.[157] As of 2020 Penkowa has had nine of her research publications retracted, and four others have received an expression of concern.[158]
  • Eric Poehlman (US), a former Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Vermont, was convicted in 2005 of grant fraud after falsifying data in as many as 17 grant applications between 1992 and 2000. He was the first academic in the United States to be jailed for falsifying data in a grant application.[159][160] Poehlman has had seven of his publications retracted.[161]
  • Anil Potti (US), a former Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University, engaged in scientific misconduct "by including false research data in ... published papers, [a] submitted manuscript, [a] grant application, and the research record."[162][163] Potti's misconduct resulted in the suspension of three clinical trials based on his research and a lawsuit filed against Duke by patients enrolled in those studies.[164] Potti has had 11 of his publications retracted.[165]
  • Erin Potts-Kant and William Michael Foster (US), pulmonary researchers at Duke University, published fraudulent data resulting from work supported through multiple research grants. Potts-Kant pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $25,000 from Duke University, with Duke ultimately settling an associated case with the Federal Government for $112 million.[166][167]{bare URL inline|date=January 2021}} As of 2020 they have had 18 papers retracted, four others have received an expression of concern, and six others have been corrected.[168]
  • Azza El-Remessy (US), a former Associate Professor of the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, falsified Western blot data in published manuscripts.[169][170] El-Remessy has had six research papers retracted, three papers corrected, and two papers attached to an expression of concern.[171]
  • Scott Reuben (US), a former Professor of Anesthesiology at Tufts University, falsified and fabricated clinical trials involving painkiller medications.[172][173] Reuben pleaded guilty in 2010 to one count of health care fraud and was sentenced to six months in prison.[174] Reuben has had 25 of his publications retracted.[175]
  • Philip Ashton-Rickardt (UK), Professor at Imperial College London and a Presidential Early Career Award winner, was found to have published a paper in Science that contained duplications and incorrect Western blots leading to the article’s retraction.[176][177]
  • José Román-Gómez (Spain), a leukemia researcher at the University of Córdoba (Spain) who has been described as "a serial image manipulator/misappropriator", altered and misappropriated gel images from the work of others for his own published papers.[178][179][180][181] Román-Gómez has had six of his publications retracted.[182]
  • Steven S. Rosenfeld (US), a former Harvard undergraduate, forged letters of recommendation for himself in the name of David Dressler, whose laboratory he used. His research on transfer factor, on which two articles were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and one article in Annals of Internal Medicine, could not be successfully replicated by other scientists.[183][184]
  • Robert P. Ryan (UK), formerly of the University of Dundee, was found by a University committee in 2016 to have committed research misconduct in his work on molecular bacteriology.[185] Ryan has had five of his research publications retracted.[186][187]
  • Fazlul Sarkar (US), a pathologist and former Distinguished Professor at Wayne State University[188] and current Professor at University of Malaya,[189] was in 2015 found by a Wayne State University committee to have "engaged in and permitted (and tacitly encouraged) intentional and knowing fabrication, falsification, and/or plagiarism of data, and its publication in journals, and its use to support his federal grant applications."[190] Sarkar, who in 2015 lost a lawsuit he brought against the University of Mississippi (and other defendants) after a job offer there was rescinded,[191] and who in 2016 lost a defamation lawsuit he brought against anonymous critics of his work,[192] has had 41 of his research publications retracted and 12 other papers corrected.[193][194]
  • Yoshihiro Sato (Japan), a researcher in osteoporosis at Mitate Hospital in Tagawa, published more than 200 falsified papers involving 33 clinical trials.[195] As of 2020, Sato has had 95 research publications retracted, and 29 other papers have received an expression of concern.[196]
  • Eric J. Smart (US), a former nutrition researcher, associate professor, vice-chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and the Barnstable-Brown Chair in Diabetes Research at the University of Kentucky, was in 2012 found by the US Office of Research Integrity to have committed scientific misconduct over a period of 10 years by falsifying data in 10 published papers and seven grant applications.[197][198][199] Smart has had ten of his research publications retracted.[200]
  • Alfred Steinschneider (US), a medical doctor formerly based at Upstate Medical University, in 1972 developed the theory, published in the journal Pediatrics (journal), that SIDS was caused by prolonged Sleep apnea,[201][202] although none of his research or research conducted subsequently by others supported the theory.[203][204][205] The case-study upon which Steinschneider's theory was based was later revealed to involve Infanticide committed by the mother, with Steinschneider allegedly having ignored evidence and reports that the children were being abused.[206][207] In 1997 the editor of Pediatrics (journal), Jerold Lucey, stated that Steinschneider's original paper on the subject was "seriously flawed" and should not have been published.[208]
  • Marc Straus (US), former Chief of Oncology and Associate Professor of Medicine at Boston University Medical Center, in 1982 admitted to "serious deficiencies", including the use of false data, in research studies he supervised. He also admitted to using ineligible patients in his studies, administering drug dosages different from those in his plan, and not assuring compliance with rules of informed consent.[209][210][211]
  • Jon Sudbø (Norway), an oncologist and former Associate Professor at the University of Oslo, was found in a 2006 investigation to have manipulated and fabricated data in grant applications and 15 of his research papers.[212][213][214] Sudbø has had 12 of his publications retracted.[95]
  • Akio Sugino (Japan), a former molecular biologist and professor at Osaka University, was dismissed from the University following an investigation that revealed he fabricated research data in two of his papers.[215][216][217]
  • William Summerlin (US), a dermatologist formerly at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in 1974 committed scientific misconduct in his work on transplant immunology.[218][219] It was from this case that the phrase "painting the mice" originated as a synonym for research fraud.[220][221]
  • Kazunari Taira (Japan), formerly of the biochemistry and biotechnology department at the University of Tokyo, was found by a University committee to have faked experiments on RNA interference.[222][223][224][225] Taira has had five research papers retracted.[226]
  • Andrew Wakefield (UK), a former practicing physician and senior lecturer at the Royal Free Hospital in London, was found guilty of dishonesty in his research and banned from medicine by the UK General Medical Council following an investigation by Brian Deer of the London Sunday Times.[227] Wakefield's claims of a link between the MMR vaccine, autism and inflammatory bowel disease have been reported in the British Medical Journal as "based not on bad science but on a deliberate fraud",[228] and the 1998 paper originally presenting his theory was retracted in 2010 by The Lancet.[229][230] Wakefield was unsuccessful in an attempt to sue detractors/critics for libel and defamation.[231][232] Wakefield has had two papers retracted and one corrected.[233]
  • Robert Weinberg (USA), a professor of Biology at MIT, was found to be responsible in five incidents of scientific misconduct involving falsification or fabrication of data. As of 2020, Weinberg has had five research papers retracted.[234][235][236][237]
  • Weishui Y. Weiser (US), a former Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, falsified data supported by two Public Health Service (PHS) grants.[238][239] Weiser has had four of their research publications retracted, and one other paper corrected.[240][241][242]
  • Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories fabricated research data to the extent that upon FDA analysis of 867 studies, 618 (71%) were deemed invalid, including many of which were used to gain regulatory approval for widely used household and industrial products.[243][244]
  • Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital retracted a 2012 paper published in Surgery in 2016 after an internal investigation determined that an image used in the paper was fabricated. The investigation was sparked by other scientists who questioned the paper's claim to have presented the molecular underpinnings of how a form of curcumin could reduce the growth of neuroblastoma.[245] The official retraction stated, "The irregularities in Figure 3E have been investigated by the co-authors and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and the investigation concluded that the image was fabricated. We therefore retract the publication."[246]
  • The company Surgisphere claimed to have hospital data which was used to support studies of the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19. Papers in the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine were retracted in June 2020 when the data was found to be implausible.[247][248][249][250][251]


  • Claudio Airoldi (Brazil), former professor at the University of Campinas, and Denis de Jesus Lima Guerra (Brazil), former professor at the Federal University of Mato Grosso, have had 13 of their papers retracted[252] in what was reported as the biggest case of scientific fraud in Brazil.[253]
  • Shigehito Isobe (Japan), professor at Hokkaido University, was found to have significant overlap with several publications by the authors in a 2010 paper that was later retracted.[254]
  • Juan Carlos Mejuto (Spain) and Gonzalo Astray Dopazo (Spain) of the University of Vigo had two papers retracted in 2011 because "significant portions" of the papers duplicated previously published work.[255][256][257]
  • Leo Paquette (US), an Ohio State University professor, plagiarized sections from an unfunded NIH grant application for use in his own NIH grant application.[258] He also plagiarized a NSF proposal for use in one of his scientific publications.[259][260]
  • Bengü Sezen (U.S., Turkey), graduate student at Columbia University in the laboratory of Dalibor Sames, had her Ph.D. revoked by Columbia when it was discovered that she had completed none of the research detailed in three publications and had fabricated NMR data. Unaware they had done nothing wrong, Sames fired other graduate students who could not repeat Sezen's results. Sezen is now an assistant professor at the Gebze Institute of Technology in Turkey.[261]
  • H. Zhong, T. Liu, and their colleagues at Jinggangshan University (China) have retracted at least 70 papers published in Acta Crystallographica[262][263] following analyses that revealed the organic structures claimed in these papers to be impossible or implausible; the supporting data appeared to have been taken from valid structures that had then been altered by substituting atoms.[264][265]
  • Guido Zadel (Germany), published an article with the title "Enantioselective Reactions in a Static Magnetic Field" in 1994.[266] His experiments had been manipulated, which led to the retraction of the respective paper and the final loss of his doctoral degree in 2004.[267] The German version of the article is still accessible at Angew. Chem. in 2021 for $59 without any obvious retraction note.[268]

Computer science and mathematicsEdit

  • Ioan Mang (Romania), a computer scientist at the University of Oradea, plagiarized a paper by cryptographer Eli Biham,[269] Dean of the Computer Science Department of Technion, Haifa, Israel. He was accused of extensive plagiarism in at least eight of his academic papers.[270][271][272][273]
  • Dănuț Marcu (Romania), a mathematician and computer scientist, was banned from publishing in several journals due to plagiarism.[274] He had submitted a manuscript for publication that was a word-for-word copy of a published paper written by another author.[275]


  • In 2020, Magali Elise Roques, a French philosopher and a chargé de recherche at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, became the subject of several academic plagiarism inquiries.[276][277] As a result, several of her journal publications were retracted by the publications where they appeared.[278][279][280][281] The journal Vivarium, in addition to retracting three of Roques' articles, published a detailed notice by the journal editors analyzing the case in detail.[282]
  • Martin William Francis Stone, an Irish philosopher formerly at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, plagiarized in more that 40 publications.[283]
  • Peter Johannes Schulz, a philosopher working at the Institute of Communication and Health at the University of Lugano, had articles both in philosophy and communications retracted for plagiarism and failure to credit sources properly.[284] [285][286] After a minor sanction, he was reinstated by the university in 2017.[287]
  • Mahmoud Khatami, an Iranian philosopher at the University of Tehran, was subject to plagiarism accusations in 2014. [288][289] A retraction for one article by Khatami due to plagiarism appeared in the philosophy journal Topoi, accompanied by an editorial by the journal editor that confirmed the existence of plagiarism.[290]

Physics and engineeringEdit

Plant biologyEdit

  • Supachai Lorlowhakarn (Thailand), an official at Thailand’s National Innovation Agency (NIA), plagiarized 80% of his PhD thesis concerning asparagus cultivation.[310] Lorlowhakarn was in 2012 found guilty of criminal forgery, had his PhD degree retracted, was fined, and received a six-month suspended jail sentence, but was not dismissed from NIA.[311] The whistleblower (and plagiarized author) in this case, United Nations official Wyn Ellis, was in 2015 detained by Thai immigration officials for four days, apparently due to an official letter from Lorlowhakarn characterizing Ellis as a "danger to Thai society."[312]
  • Olivier Voinnet (France) was suspended in 2015 for two years from the CNRS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research) due to multiple cases of data manipulation.[313][314] In 2016 EMBO recalled the Gold Medal awarded to Voinnet in 2009.[315][316] As of 2020, Voinnet has had nine research publications retracted, five other papers have received an expression of concern, and 25 other papers have been corrected.[317][318]

Social sciencesEdit

  • Mart Bax (Netherlands), former professor of political anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit, committed multiple acts of scientific misconduct including data fabrication,[319][320][321] with a 2020 article in Ethnologia Europaea characterizing Bax's misconduct as "incredible and appalling."[322] Bax, who as of 2020 has had nine of his research publications retracted,[323] was found in 2013 to have never published 61 of the papers he listed on his CV.[324][325]
  • Jens Förster (Netherlands, Germany), a social psychologist formerly of the University of Amsterdam and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, fabricated data reported in a number of published papers. An investigating committee in 2015 identified in Förster's work data that were "practically impossible" and displayed "strong evidence for low veracity."[326][327] Förster has had four of his research publications retracted,[328][329] and three others have received an expression of concern.[330]
  • Bruno Frey (Switzerland), an economist formerly at the University of Zurich, in 2010-11 committed multiple acts of self-plagiarism in articles about the Titanic disaster. Frey admitted to the self-plagiarism, terming the acts "grave mistake[s]" and "deplorable."[331][332]
  • Michael LaCour (US), former graduate student in political science at UCLA, was the lead author of the 2014 article When contact changes minds. Published in Science and making international headlines, the paper was later retracted because of numerous irregularities in the methodology and falsified data.[333][334][335][336] Following the retraction Princeton University rescinded an assistant professorship that had been offered to LaCour.[337]
  • Karen M. Ruggiero (US), former Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, fabricated NIH-sponsored research data on gender and discrimination.[338][339][340] Ruggiero has had two research publications retracted.[341]
  • Diederik Stapel (Netherlands), former professor of social psychology at Tilburg University, fabricated data in dozens of studies on human behaviour,[342] a deception described by the New York Times as "an audacious academic fraud."[343] Stapel has had 58 of his publications retracted.[344]
  • Eric A. Stewart (US), a sociologist, criminologist and Ronald L. Simons Professor of Criminology at Florida State University, faked data, descriptive statistics and results in several studies.[345][346][347] One of Stewart's co-authors, Justin T. Pickett, was the primary whistle-blower.[348] As of 2021 Stewart has had five of his research publications retracted, two other papers have received an expression of concern, and two other papers have been corrected.[349]
  • Brian Wansink (US), former John S. Dyson Endowed Chair in the Applied Economics and Management Department at Cornell University, was found in 2018 by a University investigatory committee to have "committed academic misconduct in his research and scholarship, including misreporting of research data, problematic statistical techniques, failure to properly document and preserve research results, and inappropriate authorship."[350][351][352] As of 2020, Wansink has had 18 of his research papers retracted (one twice), seven other papers have received an expression of concern, and 15 others have been corrected.[353][354][355]


  • In 2011, Taner Akçam revealed that a Turkish foreign ministry official told him that the Turkish government was paying United States historians to write works that denied the Armenian Genocide.[356]
  • In 2016 the scientific publisher Springer Nature retracted 58 papers from seven journals, authored mostly by Iran-based researchers, because the papers showed evidence of authorship manipulation, peer-review manipulation, and/or plagiarism.[357][358]
  • Ohio University in 2006 alleged more than three dozen cases of plagiarism in master's degree theses dating back 20 years in its mechanical engineering department.[359] A former faculty member involved in the plagiarism cases, Jay S. Gunasekera, was removed from his position as department chair, had his title of "distinguished professor" rescinded,[360] and in 2011 settled a lawsuit he had brought against the University.[361] Another former faculty member implicated in the plagiarism cases, Bhavin Mehta, in 2012 lost a defamation suit he had brought against the University.[362]
  • 486 Chinese cancer researchers were found guilty of engaging in a fraudulent peer-review scheme by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology. The investigation was initiated after the retraction of 107 papers published in Tumor Biology between 2012 and 2016.[363][364] This is reported to be the most papers retracted from one journal.[365]
  • Ismail Deha Er (Turkey), former Associate Professor of Marine Engineering at Istanbul Technical University, plagiarized vast majority of his paper published at Energy Sources Part A.[366] I. Deha Er simply copied content of a technical report published by MAN Diesel titled "Emission Control Two-Stroke Low-Speed Diesel Engines".
  • An investigation by the UK scientific journal Nature published on January 8, 2020, found that eight James Cook University studies on the effect of climate change on coral reef fish, one of which was authored by the JCU educated discredited scientist Oona Lönnstedt, had a 100 percent replication failure and thus none of the findings of the original eight studies were found to be correct.[367] Concerns raised about a study Oona Lönnstedt published while at JCU between 2010 and 2014 included an improbable number of lionfish claimed to have been used in this study, and images of 50 fish provided which appeared to include multiple images of some biological specimens, and two images that had been flipped making two fish appear to be four.[368][369] Oona Lönnstedt had also been found guilty of fabricating data underpinning a study at Uppsala University in Sweden following her departure from JCU.[370] The study was subsequently retracted.[371]

See alsoEdit


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