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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

A fistful of Stapels: Psych journal retracts five more from Dutch researcher, upping total to 25

with 4 comments

Diederik Stapel’s CV continues to crumble, with five more retractions for the disgraced Dutch social scientist who admitted to fabricating data in his studies.

The latest articles to fall appeared in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, a Sage title, bringing Stapel’s total to 25 that we’re aware of so far:

The following five articles have been retracted from Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Editor and the publisher of the journal:

Avramova, Y.R., Stapel, D.A. & Lerouge, D. (2010). The influence of mood on attribution. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1360-1371. (Original DOI: 10.1177/0146167210381083)

Noordewier, M.K., & Stapel, D.A. (2010). Affects of the unexpected: When inconsistency feels good (or bad). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 642-654. (Original DOI: 10.1177/0146167209357746 )

Van den Bos, A., & Stapel, D.A. (2009). Why people stereotype affects how they stereotype: The differential influence of comprehension goals and self-enhancement goals on stereotyping. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(1), 101-113 (Original DOI: 10.1177/0146167208325773)

Joly, J.F., Stapel, D.A., & Lindenberg, S.M. (2008). Silence and table manners: When environments activate norms. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(8), 1047-1056 (Original DOI: 10.1177/0146167208318401)

Stapel, D. A., & Spears, R. (1996). Event accessibility and context effects in causal inference: Judgment of a different order. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 979–992. (Original DOI: 10.1177/01461672962210001)

None of the papers was widely cited, receiving 0, 7, 4, 8 and 19 citations, respectively, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Of course, anyone who has been following this case — we’re guessing the whole field — knows the problems with Stapel’s data. But that doesn’t excuse the editors from offering an explanation, and we’re curious why they decided against doing so. After all, the journal is a member of COPE, which recommends explaining why papers were retracted. We’ve contacted the editor, and will update with anything we learn.

Hat tip: Neil Martin

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4 Responses

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  1. One could say these stories are becoming a Stapel of your coverage.

    Tim D. Smith (@biotimylated)

    September 20, 2012 at 12:44 am

  2. This case represents three sets of problems:
    1) Tolerance – closing one’s eyes/years (for whatever reason: not to offend colleague, not to open a can of worms, not to give ammunition to critics) or even worse – cover up in cases of obvious and straightforward misconduct can only erode the public trust in science, and not only in the particular author/fraudster/editor/publisher.
    2) What happens/should_happen with members of (COPE or) any organisation, who do not adhere to organisation’s framework/principles/guidelines?
    3) Who benefits from tolerance/cover_up/non-compliance?

    YouKnowBestOfAll

    September 20, 2012 at 3:07 am

  3. Today the FIOD (Dutch equivalent of the IRS) has announced it is starting an investigation against Stapel for fraud and deceit – he received government-funded research grants to do his work. So this story could well move from retractions to prison sentences.

    Michael Mol

    October 2, 2012 at 8:46 am


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