Danish committee: Researcher acted in “scientifically dishonest” and “grossly negligent” manner
A University of Copenhagen researcher who co-authored papers with Milena Penkowa — once the subject of misconduct and embezzlement inquiries — has been found by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (acronym UVVU in Danish) to have acted in a “scientifically dishonest” and “grossly negligent” manner.
Two different researchers brought complaints against Bente Klarlund Pedersen and three of her co-authors (not including Penkowa) and the committee has ruled on both. According to a one-page English summary of the draft ruling on complaints brought by Jamie Timmons:
The Committee finds that Defendant 1 did act in a scientifically dishonest manner when writing an article published in Diabetologia (see Note 1). The Committee finds that significant information about the test subjects was omitted from the original methodology section in the article, and that this omission corresponds to ‘undisclosed construction of data’ as per section 2, 1 of executive order no. 306 of 20 April 2009 and executive order of amendment no. 144 of 20 February 2012 on Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty. The Committee also finds that Defendant 1 did act in a grossly negligent manner as it was her responsibility as the lead author to ensure that the information in the methdology section was accurate.
The Diabetologia study — which has been cited 63 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge — has had an erratum. Here’s the 70-page report of the committee’s draft ruling on allegations brought by Henrik Galbo, in Danish. (And here’s an unofficial translation into English.)
Klarlund Pedersen — who at one point reported Timmons to police for harassment (although Timmons says the police neither took the complaint seriously nor investigated it) — told the news site dr.dk (courtesy Google Translate):
I can say clearly that there is no cheating. I have committed technical errors and been inattentive…but I disagree with calling it scientific misconduct.
Meanwhile, Penkowa, who has three retractions and two expressions of concern, reports on her own site that the police have decided not to pursue forgery and fraud charges against her, as translated by University Post:
After a massive media frenzy over the last several years, I am happy to finally have my name cleared, and look forward to putting the matter behind me. I am now considering seeking compensation for damages, as the case proceeding against me — lasting for nearly 2 1/2 years — has had a great impact on both my personal and professional life.
Update, 10:45 p.m. Eastern, 7/31/13: Added comments from Timmons noting that police did not investigate Klarlund Pedersen’s complaint against him.