Wednesday, May 02, 2007

This news is bad ...


Cancer scientists at the National Centre for Cell Sciences in Pune, India, have manipulated data, according to an independent ethics watchdog.

In a report released last week (28 April), the Delhi-based Society For Scientific Values (SSV) said an entire research team was "guilty of misconduct for falsification/fabrication of data" in two papers published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) in 2004 and 2005.

The journal withdrew the scientists' papers in February 2007 amid allegations of data manipulation.

There is more in T.V. Padma's report.

3 Comments:

  1. arun said...

    Academic dishonesty, be it from India, Korea or the USA is sad. These people are "highly educated" and can not plead ignorance. It seems the instances of data falsification and image distortion are on the rise. Maybe researchers are under enormous pressure to perform. It is no longer sufficient to say "I have found 1000 methods that don't work". But no reason can justify this appalling behavior. Given the current trend of ultra fast research, I think we need to be extra careful about results we publish and cautious about results that we see in published papers. More importantly, new students who are beginning their research career (graduate students) should be given some explicit instructions on how to handle research data rather than just letting them learn by trial and error. Maintaining the research log book is a simple example. In a talk I attended (by chance) during the 4th year of my graduate study, the dean for graduate studies said that the research log book should be hard bound (not spiral) with printed page numbers without even a single page missing in order to be accepted by a court of law (in case the findings are ever contested). That was a shock to me since no graduate student I knew (back then) had a log book that satisfied those conditions. I am sure this piece of information and much more is buried in the 200 page graduate school manual that we receive during orientation. Frankly, even if someone tries to read the manual, they will get bored with insignificant detail and will never find stuff that is essential for their research work. I feel seminars and small handouts with bulleted lists would be much more helpful.

  2. Wanderer said...

    This is sad, and sadly, it paints a bad picture of Indian research in general...

    Is their too much pressure on researchers to publish under any circumstances?

    And do we have the right people at the right places?

  3. Wanderer said...

    after this glimpse at the darker side of research in India (and at various other places), let me share a rather positive news I recently came across...
    http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=12675

    (p.s. - apologies if this is irrelevant; i thought it is worth sharing. )