News & AnalysisScientific Misconduct

Psychologist Accused of Fraud on 'Astonishing Scale'

Science  04 Nov 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6056, pp. 579
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6056.579

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Summary

A Dutch committee has concluded in a report this week that one of the Netherlands' leading social psychologists made up or manipulated data in dozens of papers over nearly a decade. Diederik Stapel of Tilburg University in the Netherlands was suspended in September after three junior researchers reported that they suspected scientific misconduct in his works. Stapel then reportedly told university officials that some of his papers contained falsified data. The university launched an investigation, as did the University of Groningen and the University of Amsterdam, where Stapel had worked previously. The Tilburg commission released an interim report on 31 October, which includes preliminary results from all three investigations. The investigators found evidence of misconduct on an "astonishing scale," the report says.