Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

And then there were 20: Diederik Stapel retraction count keeps growing

with 9 comments

Although he’s in no danger of breaking the current record of 172 likely retractions, Diederik Stapel now has 20 to his, um, credit.

The September 2012 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology features these seven:

All seven Six of the notices say the same thing, with co-authors singular or plural, as appropriate:

This retraction follows the results of an investigation into the work of Diederik A. Stapel (further information on the investigation can be found here: https://www.commissielevelt.nl/). The Noort Committee has determined data supplied by Diederik A. Stapel to be fraudulent. His co-authors were unaware of his actions and were not involved in the collection of the fraudulent data.

The last notice, which is for a 1996 paper, says:

This retraction follows the results of an investigation into the work of Diederik A. Stapel (further information on the investigation can be found here: https://www.commissielevelt.nl/). The Drenth Committee has found evidence of fraud, leading to the conclusion that fraud is most likely in the data supplied by Diederik A. Stapel. His co-authors were unaware of his actions and were not involved in the collection of the likely fraudulent data.

Updated 1:30 p.m. Eastern, 8/25/12, as per SF’s suggestions below.

Hat tip: Brendan Nyhan

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 21st, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Comments
  • chirality August 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    His Hirsh index must be falling faster than Facebook shares. On the other hand, the gullibility index of Stapel’s co-authors reaches an all-time high.

  • YouKnowBestOfAll August 22, 2012 at 1:32 am

    As I already told you: “Every next retraction is easier than the previous one”
    You may call this
    YouKnowBestOfAll 2-nd law.

  • Jelte Wicherts August 22, 2012 at 2:40 am

    The most interesting aspect of this set of retracted papers is that it also includes a paper from 1996 in which the committee only found an indication of fraud (incidentally one of the chapters of Stapel’s doctoral dissertation). So the fraud in this paper was not “determined”, possibly because the raw data were no longer available. Statistical irregularities in the paper led to the retraction.
    https://www.commissielevelt.nl/drenth-committee/evidence-of-fraud/

    • SF August 23, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Ivan, based on the comment by Jelte: maybe the original post should be changed as the last paper states ‘evidence of fraud, leading to the conclusion that fraud is most likely in the data’ instead of ‘has determined data supplied by Diederik A. Stapel to be fraudulent’. Also the last paper is not investigatd by the Noort Committee (Tilburg University), but by the Drenth Committee (University of Amsterdam).

      Furthermore I think it is an interesting question whether ‘statistical irregularities’ should lead to a retraction. In this case the Drenth Committee has found ‘high evidentual value’ for misconduct (or at least bad research practices), but what to do with the cases with ‘moderately high evidentual value’? Normally I would say that retraction is a last resort, however, in the Stapel case one might say it’s better to retract doubtful papers?

      • ivanoransky August 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm

        Corrected — thanks for pointing that out.

      • SF August 26, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        Thanks. However, credits should go to Jelte…

  • failuretoreplicant August 22, 2012 at 8:41 am

    With the number of fraudulent papers and replication failures emerging, the “unconscious priming” literature needs to essentially start from scratch to be taken seriously.

  • Neuroskeptic August 23, 2012 at 4:00 am

    The Society of Personality and Social Psychology have just announced their response to the recent unpleasantness… but fine words butter no parsnips: http://www.spsp.org/?ResponsibleConduct

    • YouKnowBestOfAll August 25, 2012 at 1:18 am

      Thanks for providing the link.

      It seems that finally they got it – that “someone might not trust the integrity of one’s science”.

      Now they should realize that:
      Instead of ignoring/denying/cover_up committed misconduct, getting rid of the rotten apple is in everybody’s favour.

      The above applies to ALL ACADEMIC FIELDS.

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