Nature World View: We need to talk about systematic fraud

18 February 2019
Research integrity

Professor Jennifer Byrne, head of the Children's Cancer Research Unit and professor of molecular oncology at the University of Sydney, has been digging deeper into scientific fraud since she made an alarming discovery one night in 2015 as she was browsing through research papers on PubMed.  She noticed striking similarities between several papers published by different authors, involving a gene which she had originally discovered many years earlier. 

After further investigation, she identified more than 60 questionable papers in genetic cancer research, which has led to the retraction of more than 15 fraudulent papers and global recognition of her work in this area as one of Nature's10 people who mattered this year” in 2017.

In her latest opinion piece for Nature World View, Professor Byrne reflects upon the need for the scientific community to acknowledge and address the possibility of systematic research fraud affecting the scientific literature, and writes:

I think of the research literature as an ocean, linking researchers in disparate yet ultimately connected fields. Just as there is growing alarm about our rising, polluted oceans, scientists are increasingly talking about the swelling research literature and its contamination by incorrect research results.

The full article can be read here.

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