He’s back: Data faker Diederik Stapel will support research at vocational university

Diederik Stapel
Diederik Stapel

Diederik Stapel, the social psychology researcher who has had 58 papers retracted after admitting that he made up the data, has a new job: helping other researchers.

Stapel, according to BN DeStem (via Google Translate),

is going to help professors at major research projects and studies. “Outside his mistake he has been a good and thorough scientist,” says Hein van Oorschot of the Executive Board [of NHTV Breda, in the Netherlands]. “He has a vast knowledge in the field of research. He knows how the world works.”

The appointment is for one year. Van Oorschot tells BN DeStem:

He is not engaged in research and will not teach. He gets a supporting role, and he is the source of information and a helping hand for large projects.

Stapel has not responded to a request for comment. His last academic appointment, as an adjunct of sorts at Fontys Academy in Tilburg in 2014, was short-lived. Around the same time he resigned, he admitted sock puppetry in comments here at Retraction Watch.

Earlier, Stapel had settled with Dutch prosecutors and agreed to 120 hours of community service, after resigning from Tilburg University and relinquishing his PhD.

Hat tip: Jochen Mierau

Like Retraction Watch? Consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support our growth. You can also follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, sign up on our homepage for an email every time there’s a new post, or subscribe to our daily digest. Click here to review our Comments Policy. For a sneak peek at what we’re working on, click here.

19 thoughts on “He’s back: Data faker Diederik Stapel will support research at vocational university”

  1. “Outside of his mistake, he has been a good and thorough scientist.”


    At least make mistakes plural. 58 retractions are at least 58 mistakes.

    It was said elsewhere and I agree. Mr Staple should seek his redemption in another field other than science.

    1. As the first comment said: “Mr Stapel should seek his redemption in another field other than science.” The issue is here too that DS will be involved in helping others to do research, and that in a very young institution. I do think that NHTV has made a wrong decision.

      1. Reformed fraudsters who know how to play the game are valued higher in academia than honest scientists who don’t know how to play the game.

  2. At least he does have 58 ideas for publishable papers, although that might not mean much in social psychology. Other than that I can’t see what he could offer, given that much of what he has achieved has been through fraud.

    One aspect of the current political environment is that there are groups that dislike academia. That makes it essential that we continue to show that our research is useful, which requires honesty. People like this have no place in science.

      1. Many of the coauthors of affected papers were his PhD students. I think it is a bit much to ask for them to be held responsible. Students who learn how to do science have to trust their supervisor. How else should they learn hoe to do it?

        This also seems to be the position of the official report. Please check out the section on the Levelt committee on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diederik_Stapel#Levelt_Committee

  3. TL
    Reformed fraudsters

    Assumes facts not in evidence. He is (apparently) no longer in a position to perpetrate the exact same kind of fraud (at least, not without help, and not in a way where his involvement would be publicly known), and he has not (presumably) been caught out in any other kind of fraud. I’m not sure how a “fraudster” does definitively demonstrate that he or she is “reformed”, but nothing we have seen reported (here) seems even to be directed to making such a demonstration.

  4. DS is NOT a thorough scientist. He was a manipulator and according to his books (this week he published a third one about himself, it’s called “Zuchten” (Sighs)), he still is. His fraud wasn’t just a mistake, it was an outcome of his character and personality, which can’t be changed in a few years. His second chance shouldn’t be given in a scientific/educational environment. He affected the careers and lives of too many collegues.

  5. Concern about Stapel are justified. But what remains, time and again, under the radar is the sick policy of publish or perish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.