26 Comments

Go to the profile of Tessa Little
Tessa Little almost 2 years ago

2. Because she needs to show was it intentional or not. Then they can decide to retract the paper previously published and republish the fixed data.

Go to the profile of Cesar  Alvarez-Gonzalez
Cesar Alvarez-Gonzalez over 1 year ago

She might need to do different actions, probably talk with the professor and tell him her findings and concerns. In the mean time, check the institution's policy of misconduct and the people she can contact to report this.

Go to the profile of Lesa Thompson
Lesa Thompson over 1 year ago

I, too, would suggest a combination. In the first instance, speak to the professor & ask him to explain the findings. However, I think this is not the responsibility of a postdoctoral researcher to investigate her superior, so Caroline should also speak to someone is a higher position such as the director/dean about her concerns.

Go to the profile of Rhiannon Creasey
Rhiannon Creasey 10 months ago

Parallel (2) and (6). Escalate to (4) or the appropriate outcome of (6) as necessary.

Wouldn't ever recommend (5), it's a waste of the postdoc's time and could jeopardise their career. (1) is also not a good idea, if Prof Jackson is dodgy then the postdoc could be tangled up if he gets caught later. Presumably, (3) would be covered by (6) and/or (4) if the misconduct is serious.

Go to the profile of Warren Cordell
Warren Cordell 10 months ago

Caroline has already spoken with her professor and received no satisfactory answer to explain the research discrepancies. Consequently, she should investigate her institution's misconduct policies, (option 6), for guidance before speaking with the director/dean of her research school, (option 4). She should carefully document her findings and the answers her professor provided in a completely objective manner. While she owes a duty to science and the institution's reputation, she is also jeopardizing her postdoc position with her professor.

Go to the profile of Carla Pinheiro
Carla Pinheiro 10 months ago

Having this new info (lab books) she can talk to the supervisor again. I would say she needs to decide what she wants to do and if she feels it must go on than figure out who can help.

Go to the profile of Erica Pasini
Erica Pasini 10 months ago

Caroline should speak to her professor again and explain her findings and concerns.
Although it would be difficult to explain to the professor that she checked his lab books...
If professor is unresponsive -->
Caroline should investigate her institution’s policy on misconduct and Caroline should contact the director/dean of her research school to notify him/her, and show her findings.

Go to the profile of Ibrahim Eissa
Ibrahim Eissa 10 months ago

she should proceed an investigation herself again to be confirm and discuss with her professor. if there is no any explanation she should her institution’s policy on misconduct.

Go to the profile of Astrid Kritzinger
Astrid Kritzinger 9 months ago

I would recommend first 6 and then 4. It would be even better, if the research school had an ombudsperson, who has experience with cases like that and can help her with the next steps to be initiated, after she showed that there are clear discrepancies between the lab books and the paper. If it came to a further conversation with Professor Jackson, Caroline should not be alone but accompanied by a person (ombudsperson?), who a) has more impact than she has b) has no conflict of interest, c) is as neutral/objective as possible.

Go to the profile of Vera Lede
Vera Lede 9 months ago

Go to the profile of Orlagh  Feeney
Orlagh Feeney 9 months ago

2 and 6, check where the university stands on misconduct, speak to the professor again, there may be some obfuscation of data between the lab book and the published result, or transcription errors. At the same time she would also need to closely observe current lab practices and evaluate if the work is currently being ethically conducted, if so, this should inform her interactions with the professor.

Go to the profile of Ingrid Van Balkom
Ingrid Van Balkom 9 months ago

Speak to her professor about her concerns. If these cannot be resolved she should contact the dean.

Go to the profile of Rosa Prahl
Rosa Prahl 9 months ago

Caroline should speak with the professor again and show her concerns

Go to the profile of Yuchen Tian
Yuchen Tian 9 months ago

Caroline should speak to her professor again and explain her findings and concerns.

Go to the profile of Mwila Hilton Mwaba
Mwila Hilton Mwaba 9 months ago

First 2 then 6 and finally 4. In my experience most professors consider questioning their work offensive but good professors who address pleas exist.

Go to the profile of Kerryn Warren
Kerryn Warren 7 months ago

I think Caroline should seek advice from someone higher up whom she trusts, but also within the institution. She certainly does not want an unexpected backlash against her, which may happen in either of these scenarios.

Go to the profile of Mathilde van der Merwe
Mathilde van der Merwe 6 months ago

I would opt for 4 - get someone with more authority in the institution to take the matter further.

Go to the profile of Gaelle Ramon
Gaelle Ramon 6 months ago

Caroline should speak to her professor again and explain her findings and concerns
if this does not work, she should take this further with the HOD or Dean

Go to the profile of Patricia Coulter
Patricia Coulter 6 months ago

She should speak to her to her Professor again but also be prepared to contact her dean/director of her research school at the same time to take the matter further. She shouldn't leave this matter. She also shouldn't investigate this herself.

Go to the profile of Francisco Perfectti
Francisco Perfectti 6 months ago

I think Caroline has several options, but the very first one is investigate her institution's policy on misconduct.

Go to the profile of Liliana Layer
Liliana Layer 5 months ago

4. As Caroline had already talked to her professor who was not willing to cooperate to resolve this issue, she need s to contact somebody higher in the hierarchy.

Go to the profile of Zhou Li
Zhou Li 5 months ago

option 2. the best way is self-correcting.

Go to the profile of Alison Yeung
Alison Yeung 4 months ago

I think option 4 is the most appropriate. If her observations don't turn out to reflect reality, she might damage someone's reputation. If she's spoken with the prof directly already, escalating to the next level within the institution would be the most prudent action given that she's a postdoc. Before speaking with the chair or dean, she should research her institution's misconduct policies so she is aware before proceeding.

Go to the profile of Ryan Shaw
Ryan Shaw 4 months ago

(2) and (6) would be a good idea. That way Caroline will have a better understanding of how to handle the situation if the conversation with the supervisor doesn't settle anything. (3) and (4) would likely be addressed in the institution's policy of misconduct. (5) is too much to expect of a post-doc [and could perhaps lack the weight of a formal investigation] and (1) is ethically irresponsible. 

Go to the profile of Heydar Davoudi
Heydar Davoudi 2 months ago

A combination of 2 and 6, and his response was not satisfactory do #4

Go to the profile of Peggy Paschke
Peggy Paschke about 1 month ago

A combination of 2 and 6 sounds reasonable.