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November 3 2012

Scientific fraud is rife: it's time to stand up for good science


Science is broken. Psychology was rocked recently by stories of academics making up data, sometimes overshadowing whole careers. And it isn't the only discipline with problems - the current record for fraudulent papers is held by anaesthesiologist Yoshitaka Fujii, with 172 faked articles.

These scandals highlight deeper cultural problems in academia. Pressure to turn out lots of high-quality publications not only promotes extreme behaviours, it normalises the little things, like the selective publication of positive novel findings which leads to "non-significant" but possibly true findings sitting unpublished on shelves, and a lack of much needed replication studies.

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