Panel to Consider Best Practices for Addressing Author Misconduct
NEW YORK, September 6, 2012 –

We hold the published scientific record in such high regard because we expect that it accurately reflects the results of research. But what happens when researchers tinker with their results, either with good or bad intent? Join us for “Addressing Author Misconduct: The Role of Researchers, Journals, and Institutions” to explore these questions and more. This panel discussion will take place on Thursday, September 20, at noon in Columbia’s Faculty House. The event is free and open to the public.

Though not a new issue, academic author misconduct has been in the spotlight due to recent high-profile cases such as that of Dutch social psychologist Diederik Stapel. Many are calling for more coordination among journals, research institutions, and research leaders across the globe in dealing with the range of issues broadly described as “misconduct.” At the same time, a high volume of submissions, alongside widely available digital publishing software, has put increasing pressure on journals to inspect papers for signs of questionable practices or even data manipulation. How can journals and institutions best educate researchers about misconduct and coordinate their efforts to address it? Are there ways to take more advantage of the post-publication review processes and open discussions that are occurring organically on the Web? And when misconduct is discovered, how can the digital scientific record best be corrected?

The panel will consider the issue from diverse perspectives:

Liz Williams began her career in scientific publishing in 2008 as an Associate Editor for PLoS Biology and joined The Journal of Cell Biology (JCB) as Executive Editor in 2010. JCB is published by The Rockefeller University Press and has been the industry leader in the development of standards for image data presentation and for comprehensive screening pre-publication to detect misconduct.

Martin Frank has been the Executive Director of the American Physiological Society (APS) since 1985. Frank received his PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Illinois, Urbana. His work prior to joining the APS included faculty appointments at research universities and positions at the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Katja Brose is Editor of the journal Neuron and Executive Editor of the neuroscience portfolio at Cell Press. She received her PhD in Biochemistry from UCSF and joined Cell Press in 2000. In 2011, she was appointed Editorial Director of Reviews Strategy at Cell Press, overseeing the Trends group of reviews journals. Cell Press is an imprint of Elsevier and publishes 28 journals spanning the life sciences.

Naomi Schrag is the Associate Vice President for Research Compliance in Columbia University's Office of the Executive Vice President for Research. She oversees work on issues such as research misconduct, conflicts of interest, and international research compliance, and collaborates closely with other offices across the University to develop integrated approaches to compliance and training.

This event, cosponsored by the Columbia University Scholarly Communication Program and the Office of Research Compliance and Training, is the first event this academic year in the speaker series Research Without Borders: The Changing World of Scholarly Communication. Follow the discussion live on Twitter at or by using the hashtag #rwob. For information about Research Without Borders, and to watch a webcast of the event, please visit the Scholarly Communication Program website at


The Scholarly Communication Program (SCP) supports the global reach and impact of research produced at Columbia University. Its mission is to explore and raise awareness about new research tools, methods, and support services that are available to Columbia faculty, students, and staff. In pursuit of this mission, the SCP hosts events and workshops, curates news and resources on our Web site, and engages in innovative scholarly communication initiatives on campus and in the wider academic community. The SCP is an initiative of the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, which is part of Columbia University Libraries/Information Services.

The Office of Research Compliance and Training (ORCT) helps ensure that Columbia faculty and staff are in compliance with the complex web of regulatory requirements that govern research. ORCT collaborates with many other offices to foster an integrated research compliance program. ORCT administers the University’s conflict-of-interest review process for research, serves as a resource for international research compliance issues, and administers Columbia’s Standing Committee on the Conduct of Research, which addresses issues of research misconduct. ORCT works to integrate compliance education programming across the University, and to develop new programming that promotes understanding of compliance issues throughout the research enterprise.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources:

LW September 2012