Friday, November 08, 2013
Look again Professor Hoj
The ABC have made another report about the research misconduct scandal at the University of Queensland involving Prof. Bruce Murdoch, Dr Caroline Barwood and the European Journal of Neurology. In a post at this blog from September I suggested that the University of Queensland's vice-chancellor Professor Peter Hoj should take a look at Tomas's comment on a post that I had written about the scandal and slack standards in science. Tomas had identified an error and an irregularity in another published study that had Murdoch and Barwood as authors, which were a definite indication that something was amiss with that paper and that study also, but the ABC has reported that Prof. Peter Hoj, who has taken on the task of investigating these matters, has found that "....a review of about 100 studies published by Dr Barwood and Professor Murdoch has so far found no evidence of incorrect or non-existent data." I think the professor hasn't looked too hard, and I expect that Tomas the extraordinary blog commentator might agree. Although Prof Hoj has overlooked some irregularities in one of the papers, he has reportedly identified other aspects of the work of Barwood and Murdoch that require investigation, possibly evidence of plagiarism. Considering that these Aussie academics have had the gall to make up a complete study and get it published in a legit science journal, I'm sure that they would hardly think twice about committing the common academic sin of plagiarism. Australian academic Dr Tracey Bretag who is not connected with the scandal has explained why these issues of scientific fraud are a problem for everyone; "We've also got issues around public safety, reporting data that is in fact not true which could have an impact on people's health and their treatment which is very serious......So you've got like a perfect storm."