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‘Even if they know a colleague is a fraudster, they will continue citing their papers, and get cited back[.] [T]hey will positively peer review each other’s grants, papers and even award applications; they will … invite each other to conferences, and if despite all that precaution [the outing of research misconduct] arises, they will sit on each other’s research misconduct investigative committees. And of course they will continue setting up biotech companies together, and they will continue bullshitting the patients about their new breakthrough miracle cures for Alzheimer’s or other diseases.’

For more than four years, Leonid Schneider and many other scientists have been screaming about the seemingly rampant fraud in bigshot Temple University brain researcher Domenico Pratico’s taxpayer funded published work.

Finally, this ancient story has hit the big time, and we’re getting from Pratico exactly what we’d expect: All 35 or so apparently fraudulent studies are the work of one evil anonymous grad student.


Here’s the special current dilemma facing research fraudsters.

Their motives remain the same they’ve always been:

 [T]he cutthroat pressures of academic publishing can tempt a person to cut corners. “When the results look better, you’ll have a better chance of getting the next grant or the next scientific award,” [Elisabeth Bik] said. “I think that’s a slippery slope that as a scientist, you need to be careful [about].”

BUT:  “[B]etter detection of misconduct and error thanks to technology and a growing army of sleuths” is outing bad actors a mile a minute.


What’s a cheater to do? The monetary/career incentives are now gargantuan, babe, so you’re not gonna want to stop duplicating images and shit like that. But unless you find some technological upgrade for your MO, you’re heading into a world of pain.

The only answer, far as UD can tell, is consultants. Go to Oracle, or some amazing enterprise like that, and find the world’s specialists in the emergent field of DDD (Deceptive Data Defense), geniuses who can anticipate what the sleuth army’s going to be focusing upon, and, with that knowledge, distort fraudulent results in undetectable ways.

Margaret Soltan, January 22, 2024 5:35AM
Posted in: march of science

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