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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Stapel inquiry widens to the University of Groningen, University of Amsterdam

with 5 comments

The University of Groningen (UG) has launched an investigation the conduct of Diederik Stapel, the social psychologist accused of fabricating his research.

According to a Google translation of a UG press release:

The Rector of the University of Groningen, Prof. Elmer Sterken, suggests an independent commission to investigate the scientific work of Professor Derrick A. Stapel performed during the period he was connected to the University of Groningen.

Stapel was in 2000 the University appointed Professor Cognitive Social Psychology in 2006 and moved to the University of Tilburg. The committee is headed by Prof. Ed Noort, professor emeritus and former dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies and Chair of the Committee for Academic Integrity of the University.

The committee was asked to investigate the extent and nature of the violation of academic integrity by Diederik Stapel. Therefore, the committee will map out which publications are based on fictitious data or faked research and the period over which the fraud occurred.

Also, the committee sought to portray as possible (legal) consequences of the fraud and to make recommendations how to respond. The committee is an idea of ​​the method and the research culture of academic integrity violation may have facilitated. In cooperation with the other two universities involved Produce recommendations to prevent recurrence.

The committee will present its findings to the Board of Directors of the University of Groningen and Prof. Pim Levelt, chairman of committee of the University of Tilburg. Expected to happen in late October.

Thinks are looking a bit unglued for Stapel. He also is being investigated by Tilburg, and the University of Amsterdam has opened an investigation into the validity of his PhD thesis, according to a report in the NRC Handelsblad.

Hat tips: Rob Gueeurtsen Geurtsen and Willem van Schaik.

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Written by Adam Marcus

September 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Hope we end up being told what actually happened, unlike in the rather similar(?) Marc Hauser case.


    September 28, 2011 at 5:51 am

  2. Derrick?

    I think you have a typo in the first paragraph of the press release. Or Google changed his name while translating it :)


    October 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm

  3. there is an odd reference on Gün Semin’s current webpage, apparently regarding a paper he co-authored with Stapel.

    “This paper has been withdrawn. The data on which this paper is based is fictitious. Stapel, D. & Semin, G. R. (2007). The magic spell of language. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93,23-33.”

    From http://cratylus.org/people/gun-semin

    I see no reference to the withdrawal of this paper, however, when looking at the main page of JPSP or anywhere else (although certainly investigations are still underway).


    October 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm

  4. The committee published its findings today; at least 30 of Stapel’s papers have been deemed problematic (for relying on fake data). The universities of Tilburg and Groningen are planning to jointly sue Stapel; the university of Amsterdam is investigating the possibility of retroactively denying him the PhD. For an overview (in dutch), see http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2686/Binnenland/article/detail/3004722/2011/10/31/Universiteiten-doen-aangifte-na-verbijsterende-fraude-Stapel.dhtml


    October 31, 2011 at 9:24 am

  5. blabla

    October 31, 2011 at 9:59 am

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