Erasmus University in Rotterdam has issued its final report on psychologist Dirk Smeesters, concluding that the former Erasmus faculty member had committed research misconduct in a total of seven papers. Three of those articles already have been retracted in the case, as we reported in December 2012.
The committee investigation is in fact a follow-up inquiry — thus its name, the Smeesters Follow-Up Investigation Committee — prompted by concerns that an initial probe was incomplete. According to the report, the four-member panel conducted an “in-depth analysis” of every paper Smeesters, who left the university’s Rotterdam School of Management in July 2012, was “actively” involved in. That turned out to be 22 articles (not including three others already retracted).
The final report is worth reading, presented here as a pdf. The four articles are:
- Reminders of money elicit feelings of threat and reactance in response to social influence, from the Journal of Consumer Research (2012; cited seven times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge);
- Money and mimicry: When being mimicked makes people feel threatened, from Psychological Science (2011; cited six times);
- Have you seen the news today? The effect of death-related media contexts on brand preferences, which appeared in the Journal of Marketing Research in 2010 (cited four times); and
- The effect of thin and heavy media images on overweight and underweight consumers: Social comparison processes and behavioral implications, which was published in the Journal of Consumer Research in 2010 and has been cited 23 times.
The committee says it will urge the journals to retract the articles. It also offers up “a few more concerns and recommendations concerning the practice of science in general” that came up in their investigation, including “difficulty in obtaining the data,” new scales “with no external validation,” and that in a few cases, “it was clear that subjects were deleted without this being mentioned.”
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