Main

January 12, 2006

Science Announces Evaluation of Its Procedures For Detecting Research Misconduct

.: In the wake of the fradulent stem cell research by Hwang et al, including two papers published in its own journal, the editors of Science have announced they will conduct a thorough review of the editorial history of both papers, and are considering additional safeguards to prevent this from happening again. From a statement by Donald Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief of Science:

We are doing a systematic review of the editorial history of both papers and our procedures for evaluating them, to search for ways in which we might improve those. I have pointed out in the past that even unusually rigorous peer review of the kind we undertook in this case may fail to detect cases of well-constructed fraud. To support this effort, we are calling on outside experts, including members of our Board of Reviewing Editors and our Senior Editorial Board.

They and we will be considering options for providing additional procedural safeguards. These could include, for example, requiring all authors to detail their specific contributions to the research submitted, and to sign statements of concurrence with the conclusions of the work. We are implementing improved methods of detecting image
alteration, although it appears improbable that they would have detected problems in this particular case.

Science has a page dedicated to the controvery, free to any searcher, which includes its official statements on the subject, the two original papers, and links to news coverage of the story. (Via: KnowledgeSpeak.)