Seb reports on the case of a top obesity researcher from the University of Vermont who was fabricating data to get millions in funding and write impressive papers.
“Some colleagues speculated that Poehlman buckled to an exaggerated perception of the pressure to publish papers and win grants to keep his laboratory going. Or perhaps he was so sure he knew the right answers that he cut corners to get to them, they said.”
The worse part is that “Many other researchers trusted and built upon the work that Poehlman had published in peer-reviewed journals. The validity of their own work is now called into question.”
Myself, I caugth one huge case of fraud last year: a Ph.D. students has been republishing papers he stole off the Web, by simply rewritting them in his own words. I reported the case and some of the papers have been pulled out.
I think that fraud will always exist, but by putting too much pressure on researchers, we will lose credibility. We have to be careful at what we reward in research.