Consequences for academic fraudsters
April 8, 2013
ORI has a new Notice up:
Andrew Aprikyan, Ph.D., University of Washington: Based on the report of an investigation conducted by the University of Washington (UW), the UW School of Medicine Dean’s Decision, the Decision of the Hearing Panel at UW, and additional analysis conducted by ORI, ORI found by a preponderance of the evidence that Dr. Andrew Aprikyan, former Research Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology, UW, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant CA89135 and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NIH, grant DK18951, and applies to the following publications and grant applications:
Standard stuff really. but our good blog friend bill pulled up three fun thoughts on the Twitts.
@drugmonkeyblog @HHS_ORI Still filing patents, too, just as though he were not a known #cheatfuck: http://www.google.com/patents/US8283344 …
@drugmonkeyblog @HHS_ORI Best I can tell, he goes by “Andranik” these days, and has $150K in SBIR money: http://is.gd/NkeCjs
@drugmonkeyblog @HHS_ORI Still editing for PLOS ONE, too: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0054977 …
The infractions for which this guy was busted date to 2001-2003 and he’s apparently been fighting it in court for years. Finally it seems, going by the ORI text, he gave up contesting the issue. And appears to have left the UW and gone to work elsewhere…somewhere that applies for and receives SBIR grants. Now, presumably this award will come under the oversight requirements of the ORI.
Of somewhat greater interest to me is the PLoS ONE editor gig. A search of the journal reveals no articles with Aprikyan as author but four articles (2 in 2012, 2 in 2013) with him as the Academic Editor.
First, now that there is an ORI finding, should PLoS ONE either dismiss or suspend the guy? Me, I’m voting for dismiss.
Second, in the broader issue it shows another side of how the secrecy and presumption-of-innocence (which is good) can work against science. Fraudsters can fight their cases for years while continuing to enjoy many of the benefits of that fraud. That is, additional employment opportunities based on their academic record. In this case the AE benefits are not tangible in terms of pay but there are the intangibles….just as their are intangibles from the mere fact of having once been hired at the Assistant Professor level, having ever acquired a NIH grant, having published papers from those aforementioned benefits, etc.
Third, this continues my side interest in career re-habilitation strategies for the fraudsters. This is way better than hiring one of those reputation-defenders to fake up some websites, right?
Finally, this issue taps my continuing fascination with what PLoS ONE is all about and how it functions. Will they institute a simple question for any additional editors to ask if there have ever been any fraud charges against them? That would seem like a good thing to do.