Update: Data fabricator had masters’ degree revoked
On Friday, we reported on the case of a retraction in the American Journal of Physiology — Cell Physiology by kinesiology researchers at Canada’s University of Waterloo for data fabrication by a graduate student, Sara Michelle Norris. We heard back from Waterloo yesterday, and have more details.
In our Friday post, we wondered whether Norris’s 2009 masters’ thesis,“Contribution of Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium Pumping to Resting Mouse Muscle Metabolism,” might have been compromised. Waterloo tells us Norris is no longer at the university:
The data published as part of an article in 2010 was also published in her master’s thesis. The university has revoked her master’s degree.
Norris and her supervisor, Russell Tupling, published another paper together, in 2010 but it seems unlikely any other studies will be retracted:
After the researchers discovered evidence of possible misconduct and informed their department, the university investigated further, as per the rigorous process in place for dealing with such allegations. Acting proactively, the researchers informed the journal that the article contained false data and requested its retraction. The university is unaware of any other papers affected by fabrication of this data.
The university has also referred te case to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which funded Norris.