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The aftermath of fraud

In wake of Poehlman affair, academics, journals assess damage control

Doug Payne(dougpayne@islandtelecom.com)

The admission of widespread data fabrication by Eric Poehlman, a well known nutrition researcher, as part of a plea bargain last week has sparked a discussion of about how journals can handle such impropriety.

Poehlman's work was cited widely; the top 10 most-cited of his more than 200 papers have been cited an average of 125 times each. One of those top 10, a 1995 Annals of Internal Medicinepaper that was retracted last year was cited more than 150 times.

"The realization that this work included false statements will force me to re-evaluate how the findings from my research are interpreted," said Wayne W. Campbell of Purdue, in Lafayette, Ind., who has cited Poehlman and called the situation "very disturbing."

"I have followed his research with great interest over the years and used it as part of the foundation for some of my research," Campbell told The Scientist via...

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