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Nursing researcher Scott Weber draws penalties from ORI in plagiarism, fraud scandal

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Scott Weber, the nursing researcher whose publishing misconduct has cost him posts at the University of Pittsburgh and Walden University, has been sanctioned by the Office of Research Integrity for his misdeeds.

According to a link posted today on the ORI website:

Based on the letters from the Research Integrity Officer at the University of Pittsburgh (UP), ORI’s oversight review, and an admission by the Respondent, ORI found that Dr. Scott Weber, former Assistant Professor, Health and Community Systems, School of Nursing, UP, engaged in research misconduct by (1) plagiarizing text and falsifying data from two publications supported by U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) funding (P30 MH60570; HS5 SM52671; PHS employee generated article) in two unpublished manuscripts, and (2) including significant portions of that plagiarized text in two grant applications to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (1 L30 NR010444-01; 1 R03 HD062761-01).

ORI found that the Respondent engaged in research misconduct by plagiarizing text, falsifying data and references, and fabricating data from two publications (Mufson, L., Dorta, K.P., Wickramaratne, P., Nomura, Y., Olfson, M., Weissman, M.M. “A randomized effectiveness trial of interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed adolescents.” Arch Gen Psychiatry 61(6):577-84, 2004 June; hereafter referred to as “Mufson et al. 2004;” and Cho, M.J., Mo[sacute]cicki, E.K., Narrow, W.E., Rae, D.S., Locke, B.Z., Regier, D.A. “Concordance between two measures of depression in the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 28(4):156-63, 1993 August; hereafter referred to as “Cho et al., 1993”) supported by PHS in two journal article submissions. Specifically, ORI found that the Respondent plagiarized more than 90 percent of the text from Mufson et al. 2004 in a manuscript entitled “A randomized effectiveness trial of psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner-administered interpersonal psychotherapy for sexual minority adolescents with depression in primary care clinics” and submitted to the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP MS). Furthermore, the Respondent plagiarized approximately 66 percent of the text from Cho et al. 1993 in a manuscript entitled “Assessing the diagnostic predictive power of a screening tool for depression: Concordance between the CES-D and DIS in the Parent Identity Survey” and submitted to the Journal of GLBT Family Studies (JGMS MS).

In both manuscripts, the Respondent falsified and fabricated tables and figures by using all or nearly all of the data in tables and graphs from the plagiarized articles while altering numbers and changing text to represent data as if from another subject population; he also copied most of the original bibliographic references but falsified 35% of the copied references from JAANP MS and 25% of the copied references from JGMS MS, by changing volume numbers and/or publication years, apparently to hinder detection of the plagiarism. The data fabrication occurred when the Respondent altered or added values to Table 2 in each manuscript describing the demographic characteristics of the study population that was never studied.

ORI also finds that the Respondent engaged in research misconduct by plagiarizing text from Cho et al. 1993 in two NIH grant applications (1 L30 NR010444-01 and 1 R03 HD062761-01) by copying substantial word- for-word portions of the text describing the test instrument to be used in the proposed study without citing the Cho et al. 1993 paper.

The notice adds that Weber has been banned for three years from various federal research activities, including serving as an adviser to the Public Health Service and from “contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government.”

You can read our previous coverage here.

Hat tip: Commenter dk

Written by amarcus41

October 4th, 2011 at 10:02 pm