VroniPlag has posted an analysis of the dissertation of Franziska Giffey. The figures on VroniPlag are misleading, because they give the impression that 37.1% of the whole content had plagiarism, rather than that problems (according to their definition) occurred on 37.1% of individual pages, regardless of whether just a few lines were involved. In fact the overall percentage is significantly lower by VroniPlag's own standards, if one uses the percentages linked to their own colour-coding....
I am on record as saying that I regard plagiarism as an ethical and copyright problem, but that other forms of integrity violations such as data manipulation, image manipulation, or data falsification are more serious because they undermine the reliability of data and our ability to build on the results. (Seadle, 2019) Plagiarism hunters often emphasize the ethical damage or the putative loss to copyright holders. The goal of this column is to examine the damage done specifically by scholarly plagiarism to attempt to measure its consequences...
The Süddeutsche Zeitung published an
article recently in which a fictitious author, “R. Funden” (equivalent
in English to “I. Maginary”), wrote a fake study on “Die kombinierten
Effekte von Essigsäureethylesterextrakten in Bienenharz auf das
Absterben menschlicher Darmkrebsstellen” (English: “The combined effects
of ethyl acetate extracts in bee resin on the death of human colon
cancer sites”) (Bauer et al., 2018, p. 12). The Journal of Integrative Oncology
accepted the article with the claim that a reviewer wanted the label on
a graphic improved and asked if the ethics commission had approved the...
Replication is difficult to apply to qualitative studies in so far as it means recreating the exact conditions of the original study — a condition that is often impossible in the real world. The key question then becomes: “how close to the original must a replication be to validate an original experiment?” (Seadle, 2018)
This question is particularly important because of the widespread belief that only quantitative research is replicable. Leppink (2017) writes...
The ability to replicate results means that those doing the replication
need exact information about how the original experiment was carried
out. In physics and chemistry this means precise descriptions in lab
books and in articles, and the same machines using the same calibration.
In the social sciences, it can be much harder to reproduce the exact
conditions, since they depend on human reactions and a variable
environment. One well-known case comes from a study by Cornell social
psychologist Daryl Bem, who did a word recognition test...
Jochen Zenthöfer wrote an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on 18 April 2018 in which he expresses concern about the number of plagiarism cases under consideration at German universities. As he notes, the cases come largely from the VroniPlag Wiki. His article is the focus of this column.
There is an assumption in most western legal systems that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but, as Zenthöfer (2018) notes, this principle derives from criminal law...
Justice is often slow. Articles with integrity problems can stay in print without any warning label for years. Chen (2013) wrote:
Two years may well even underestimate the time to retraction, since the accusation often triggers formal...
Data falsification cases generally take time to discover, and
generally require someone who is motivated enough to look for problems.
Falsification should theoretically be found in the course of peer
review, and sometimes is, but journals do not routinely make public the
detailed results of peer review. Data falsification can also be hard to
prove with certainty. This column will look at a case from social
psychology that arose in the wake of the Diederik Stapel retractions.
Stapel admitted his guilt and his name is now routinely part of
discussions about data falsification. The 2014 case under discussion
here is somewhat different...
Problems with data are arguably the most serious issue for information
integrity in the research world, because they undermine the ability of
scholars to build on past results. These problems come in many
variations, including people who make up fake data, people who
manipulate data to get specific results, and people who leave out data
or sources. Each of these represent some form of misconduct when done
deliberately. Nonetheless not everyone is guilty of malicious intent.
Ordinary negligence plays a role too. The results remain unreliable and
irreproducible, but the persons involved may be innocent of intentional...
Information integrity is fundamentally about
what makes information true or false, both at the scholarly level
(research integrity) and for public and policy discourse. There are
reports about false information almost daily. A recent example involves
the BBC, which has long been a model for the integrity of its reporting
(Sweney, 2018). This column will focus mainly on the scholarly aspects
of information integrity, but the effect of integrity problems on policy
matters (public health issues, for example) will not be ignored. The topic includes a broad range of problems,
including data falsification, image manipulation, and...