Wednesday, April 7, 2010

fraud alert

Someone is in some serious trouble over at Acta Crystallographica after some sleuthing discovered a whole whack of faked structures.

The editorial linked to above states the authors took a structure from the literature, and change metal centers and various functional groups with some tweaking of unit cell parameters and removal of reflections to make it look legit.

The accused authors come from Jinggangshan University, Jian, China. The count of retracted papers is at 70 and growing. Yikes.

The thing I don't really get is that the reward for going to all this effort of faking data to get publications is fairly small; Acta Cryst isn't a particularly glamourous journal by any stretch of the imagination. And the punishment (both likely coming to the authors from a destroyed reputation, and to other researchers who may have read these papers) seems really, really big.

Thanks to Ton Spek, who first discovered these frauds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

PIs in Asia often receive a bonus or additional grant money per paper published. Thus, Acta E is (or, hopefully, was) the perfect outlet for such fraud since the data are checked automatically and they receive 1000s of data sets per year. More papers = more $. This guy gambled and lost.