Monday, June 04, 2007

Information on fraud of Jan-Hendrik Schon disappearing from internet

Further to discussions of the fraud of Jan-Hendrik Schon on IPBiz, the nanoscale blog discusses how information on this fraud is disappearing from the internet. Sort of reminds one of how Vai Sikahema's "Rutgers is Wrong" disappeared. Curiously, while information about the fraud is disappearing, the fraudulent papers are still being cited.

Nanoscale had text of a commenter concerning the continued citation to the fraudulent papers:

What boggles my mind is that Schon's papers are still being cited on regular basis, almost as if nothing happened. Nature or Science wrote about this weird phenomenon last year. Apparently a lot of citations to retracted articles passes through referees and editors - never mind the authors themselves. Several articles are actually reviews (!) on organic/single molecule electronics. Maybe some non-specialists can claim they never heard of the scandal, but if you claim to be a specialist in the field?! Come on!

It appears Science and Nature and JAP and others did their job thoroughly by both printing the actual retractions (which can be easily tracked down in publication databases - one record for each retracted paper - so this is how you get a lot of publications!) and marking the old papers as "retracted". Web of Science does this too. Yet people still cite those papers!

Elsewhere, one finds the text: Peter Armitage reveals that he heard recently that “Schön had applied for a research job at some lab in Sweden. His CV was complete sans ONLY the papers that had been specifically flagged by the Beasley report”

See also Nature online, 17 Jan 2007: Jan Hendrik Schön was a rising star at Lucent Technologies' prestigious Bell Laboratories in ...

Separately, of relevance to "peer to patent" note the January 2007 post at physicsweb including the text:
Some researchers believe that the Internet can be used to improve the transparency and quality of the peer-review process. But as Edwin Cartlidge discovers, "open peer review" has yet to catch on in the physics community. The January 2007 post links to a story titled Bell Labs physicist fired for misconduct which tries to link to the "full report," which indeed (as reported on nanoscale) yields the result from alcatel:

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The full report on Schon (ie, the Beasley report) has been Sikahema'd.

Back in Dec. 2005, the nanoscale blog had noted:

I want to point out something that has been entirely neglected in the media, as far as I can tell: the amazing similarity between this and the J. Hendrik Schon fiasco. For example:

* Huge impact articles in major journals, with talk of Nobel prizes.
* Multiple big-name coauthors who did not spot anything wrong.
* Progress in an exceedingly demanding field far in excess of reasonable expectations, yet attracting no suspicion at the time.
* The first hints of impropriety raised due to duplication of figures (!), a sloppy mistake virtually guaranteed to be noticed eventually.
* Immediate denial by the PI, with claims that the whole problem comes down to poor record keeping.
* Initial institutional announcements that while some particular result may be flawed, the body of work is still good, pretty much because the PI is a "genius".
* Claims by the PI in the face of mounting evidence of fraud that the results are true.
* Complete denial of any responsibility by the journal editors, who may or may not have downplayed negative referee reports because the results are potentially so important.

IPBiz notes that the folks advocating embryonic stem cell research, a la Hwang, simply do NOT want to talk about this. Notice that the results of neither paper by Hwang have been accomplished by any worker, yet the Proposition 71 folks gave millions (to of all people Korean researchers (Cha et al)) to re-do the SCNT work. It's a strange, strange world!


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