A Dutch psychologist has admitted making up data and faking research over many years in studies which were then published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Diederik Stapel, a psychologist working at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, said he had “failed as a scientist” and was ashamed of what he had done, but had been driven to falsifying research by constant pressure to perform. The respected journal Science, which published some of Diederik Stapel’s work earlier this year, issued an “expression of concern” editorial in which it said it now had serious concerns about the validity of Stapel’s findings.
NSS. Part of the point of peer review is questioning in material and scientific analysis – not just accepting results as rote. Certainly in many other vocations that is the case.
Stapel was suspended from his position at Tilburg University in the Netherlands in September when an investigation was launched by the university into his work.
“The official report … indicates that the extent of the fraud by Stapel is substantial,” Science’s editor-in-chief Bruce Alberts wrote in the journal’s online edition Science Express…
The process of peer review, in which other scientists are asked to critique and analyze a paper before it is accepted for publication in a journal, is designed to minimize the risk that false data will get through, but it is not infallible.
As I said above, regardless of how a paper is vetted beforehand, a critical part of the process is investigation after the fact. Cripes, there are discussions in archaeology, paleontology, astronomy which have been in progress for decades.