Thursday, June 6, 2013

OL's Smith Stands Up for Data Integrity

Did you know Org Lett had hired a full-time Data Analyst? I didn't.

All I can say is: What took so long?

Esteemed professor and Editor Amos Smith wrote a terse, pointed piece for OL ASAP yesterday. Titled "Data Integrity," it explores ethical conduct for article submissions in the wake of several (!!) recently uncovered instances of data manipulation. Smith doesn't pull punches:
"Even if the experimental yields and conclusions of a study are not affected, ANY manipulation of research data casts doubts on the overall integrity and validity of the work reported."
What do authors say when faced with the facts? They throw their students under the bus!
"In some of the cases that we have investigated further, the  Corresponding Author asserted that a student had edited the spectra without the Corresponding Author's knowledge. This is not an acceptable excuse!"
(Perhaps we should label these "Sezen situations.")

I highly recommend reading the whole thing, if for no other reason than the righteous feeling of good-triumphing-over-evil washing over you by the end. For those interested in alternative #chemjobs, might "Data Analyst" be a pretty good use of your lab skillz?


  1. Glad he's highlighted passing of the buck as unacceptable. Put your name on something, take responsibility for it.

  2. Maybe they should be called Sames situations - Sezen was cheating, Sames was passing the buck for it.