58 Comments

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Tessa Little over 3 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.

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Cesar Alvarez-Gonzalez over 3 years 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.

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Lesa Thompson about 3 years 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.

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Victor S Garcia Rea over 1 year ago

Agree...


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Victor S Garcia Rea over 1 year ago

Agree...


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Rhiannon Creasey over 2 years 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.

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Warren Cordell over 2 years 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.

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Carla Pinheiro over 2 years 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.

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Erica Pasini over 2 years 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.

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Ibrahim Eissa over 2 years 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.

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Astrid Kritzinger over 2 years 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.

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Vera Lede over 2 years ago

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Orlagh Feeney over 2 years 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.

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Ingrid Van Balkom over 2 years ago

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

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Rosa Prahl over 2 years ago

Caroline should speak with the professor again and show her concerns

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Yuchen Tian over 2 years ago

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

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Mwila Hilton Mwaba over 2 years 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.

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Kerryn Warren about 2 years 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.

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Mathilde van der Merwe about 2 years ago

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

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Gaelle Ramon about 2 years 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

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Patricia Coulter about 2 years 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.

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Francisco Perfectti about 2 years ago

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

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Liliana Layer about 2 years 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.

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Zhou Li almost 2 years ago

option 2. the best way is self-correcting.

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Alison Yeung almost 2 years 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.

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Ryan Shaw almost 2 years 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. 

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Heydar Davoudi over 1 year ago

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

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Peggy Paschke over 1 year ago

A combination of 2 and 6 sounds reasonable. 

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Katherine MacDonald over 1 year ago

She should speak to the professor first, before taking any other action. Perhaps he isn't aware of the discrepancies between the figures and the lab books. 

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Maria G. Peche over 1 year ago

I would go with #4 and discuss the matter with the director or dean. 

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Kiyoshi Miyata over 1 year ago

2. Depends on the professor's reaction, she might be adviced to record the conversation in the potential worst case.

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Prof. Raj Parthasarathy about 1 year ago

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

Caroline should contact the director/dean of her research school to notify him/her, and show her findings.


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Nicolas Young about 1 year ago

She should definitely discuss this with her professor again. There are lots of potential explanations other than misconduct. For example there may have been some previously unknown and uncontrolled parameter that biased and invalidated the previous data. It may be necessary to at some point notify someone within her institution if misconduct continues to be the best explanation.

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Richard Hutchinson about 1 year ago

Combination of options 4 and 6 - it shouldn't be the researcher's job to fully investigate this potential misconduct - the institution will have policies and procedures to facilitate this. 

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Joaquin Luque 8 months ago

first 2. If it does not work then 4

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Sulaiman M. Alfadul 5 months ago

Caroline should contact the director/dean of her research school to notify him/her, and show her findings.

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Katrine Juul Andresen 4 months ago

2+4

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Caroline should speak to her professor again and explain her findings and concerns.This may probably make the professor to review his manuscript and check with that of Caroline.If this fails she should contact the director/dean of her research school to notify him/her, and show her findings.This action may however jeopardise Caroline's studies too because the award given to the professor risks being withdrawn.This is however a good option because research work awarded with prestigious awards should surely be reproducible

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Kaare Mikkelsen 3 months ago

first 2, then 5, 4 and 3. Give people the benefit of the doubt, but escalate if the problem is not properly dealt with. 

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Pritam Khan 3 months ago

  1. Caroline should contact the director/dean of her research school to notify him/her, and show her findings.

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Carolyn, should present and discuss her recent findings with the professor. She could also talk to a colleague or the prof to try and reproduce the results  and identify the specifics just to be sure that she isn't missing anything. If all checks out that there were decrepancies then she should investigate the institutions policies on misconduct and contact the Dean with solid evidence and facts. 

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Winfred Sila 3 months ago

Caroline should speak to her supervisor to explain her concerns for clarification

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Winfred Sila 3 months ago

Caroline should speak to her supervisor to explain her concerns for clarification

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Winfred Sila 3 months ago

Caroline should speak to her supervisor to explain her concerns for clarification

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Ligia Rodrigues 3 months ago

Caroline should speak to her professor again and explain her findings and concerns. At the same time she should investigate her institution’s policy on misconduct. Eventually find another place to work

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Paul Udom 3 months ago

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

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Trinity Senda 3 months ago

she should speak to her professor about her findings and show that she means well, and would like to work with him to rectify the problem and do the right thing. It could even mean re doing the  research and highlight the omissions that occurred in the previous publications. 

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Ro Govindasamy 2 months ago

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

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Elisabeth Dorbek-Kolin 2 months ago

I would advise to do 2) and 6), and if no satisfactory results come from this, go higher up, so 4).

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Brian Babigumira about 1 month ago

I think she should wait and see what happens

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Clemence Njehoya about 1 month ago

Investigate first her institution's policy on misconduct then contact the director/dean of her research school to notify and show her findings

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Clemence Njehoya about 1 month ago

6 and 4. Because if she goes directly to talk to the supervisor, she can go straight into trouble. So to cover herself she first should be aware of weather her institution has a policy in case of misconduct, then allow a collaborator of the same rank as the professor to handle the case.

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Ramya Nandakumar about 1 month ago

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

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Sefater Gbashi 24 days ago

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

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Sefater Gbashi 24 days ago

Depending on the outcome of this discussion, Caroline should contact the director/dean of her research school to notify him/her, and show her findings.


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I think talking with her professor and studying the institution policy would be the best to begin. In my experience, sometimes these findings are a major issue, because you don't know exactly if the general director or high level politicians are involved in corruption just to boost their careers and obtain prestigious employment in national or world famous organizations. Another step she could take is to talk about the results with colleagues of her age rank, and begin discussions about those papers with the support of the scientific community. Eventually the truth will arise but the affected with the consequences won't have a chance for revenge. Some people just don't know to lose in a fair manner. 

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Caroline should speak to her professor and explain her concerns so that the professor can clarify her. If it is not helping is then that Caroline can investigate her institution’s policy on misconduct before taking the matter further.

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Joanna Rajewicz 18 days ago

2. She should first speak to the Professor

4. Speak to the HOD of the department

after the above is completed and she's certain there's negligence 

6. She should investigate misconduct policies with her institution