In two unrelated cases, the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has sanctioned a grad student and a pair of colleagues, one of whom plagiarized and the other allowed the intellectual theft to go unchecked.
We think the handling of these cases — both first noted briefly by The Chronicle of Higher Education — is worth noting.
engaged in research misconduct by falsifying data that were included in grant application R01 GM047607-18A1, in a manuscript submitted for publication to the Journal of Cell Biology, and in several interdepartmental data presentations.
Jamieson is accused of manipulating Western blots in a variety of ways
to show that the results were of greater significance than they actually were
According to the ORI notice, Jamieson, who has not admitted culpability in the case, has agreed to a three-year period during which any research she does for an institution receiving funding from the Public Health Service must be supervised “to ensure the scientific integrity” of her work.
ORI also issued a report on the case of Mahesh Visvanathan, a bioinformatics researcher at Kansas University and co-director of the school’s Institute for Reproductive Health and Regenerative Medicine. ORI has accused Visvanathan of being a serial plagiarist, having misappropriated the work of others on three published articles and a poster abstract while using federal grant money:
Visvanathan, M., Adagarla, B., Lushington, G., Sittampalam, S., Proceedings of the 2009 International Joint Conference on Bioinformatics, Systems, Biology and Intelligent Computing, 2009, 494-497. Greater than half (50%) of the total text was obtained from
(1) Yang, C.-S., Chuang, L.-Y., Ke, C.-H., Yang, C.-H., International Journal of Computer Science, International Association of Engineers, August 2008 35(3),
(2) Goffard, N. and Weiller, G., Nucleic Acids Research, 2007, 35L:W176- W18l, and
(3) Chuang, L.-Y., Yang, C.-H., Tu, C.-J., Yang, C.-H., Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Information
Sciences, Atlantis Press, October 2006.
Retracted: Retracted administratively by IEEE on Jan 5, 2011 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=5260432.
Vijayan, A.; Skariah, B. E., Nair, B.; Lushington, G., Subramanian, S., Visvanathan, M., Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine Workshop, 2009, BIBMW2009,
267-271. Approximately 15%of the text was plagiarized from Goffard, N. and Weiller, G., Nucleic Acids Research, 2007, 35L:W176-W18l.
Retracted: Retracted administratively by IEEE on Jan 5, 2011 http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/BIBMW.2009.5332106.
Visvanathan, M., Netzer, M., Seger, M., Adagarla, B. S., Baumgartner, C., Sittampalam, S., Lushington, G., International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design, 2009, 2,236-251. A complete paragraph of the text was plagiarized from Goffard, N. and Weiller, G., Nucleic Acids Research, 2007, 35L:W176- W18l.
Adagarla, B., Lushington, G., Visvanathan, M., ISMB International Conference, January 2009; the entire abstract for this poster was obtained by plagiarizing text from Pihur, V., Datta, S., Datta S., Genomics, 2003, 92:400- 403.
In a related report, ORI also has sanctioned Visvanathan’s co-director and co-author, Gerald Lushington, whom it says
engaged in research misconduct by approving publication of three articles and one abstract he knew contained significant amounts of plagiarized text without attribution or citation from other writers’ published papers.
Both Lushington and Visvanathan, whose probation period is two years, have held onto their co-directorships of their institute.
Bonus: Read Nature‘s coverage of the Visvanathan-Lushington case, focusing on how the ORI is taking a “tougher stance” on plagiarism.