Friday, 14 September 2018

Prominent Cancer Researcher Resigns

Researcher Resigns

Prominent Cancer Researcher Resigns from Dartmouth Amid Plagiarism Charges

One of the country’s most influential researchers in cancer screening has resigned from his post at Dartmouth College after a two-year internal the investigation concluded he had plagiarized a graph included during a paper published during a prominent journal.

The researcher, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, has published widely on the risks of aggressive screening and over-diagnosis, including Op-Ed articles within the Times and a number of other popular books.

He disputed the university’s findings against him.

“I am saddened to mention that I'm resigning from Dartmouth,” Dr. Welch wrote in an email to colleagues.

“I feel that I can not participate in the research misconduct process against me — as I fear my participation only serves to validate it.”

In a prepared statement, Dartmouth said the university had “reviewed this matter in accordance with its research misconduct policy and procedures, which defines plagiarism as ‘the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving them appropriate credit,’” and located Dr. Welch guilty.

The resignation comes at a time of escalating scrutiny and self-policing across the sciences.

Retractions in academic journals are at a historic high.

Some experts argue that the heightened sensitivity to misconduct may be a long-overdue corrective; others say it's gone too far, creating a culture of suspicion during which even the hint of misconduct can sometimes end a scientist’s career.

The dispute between Dartmouth and Dr. Welch, first reported by STAT News and Retraction Watch revolves around a figure during a 2016 paper within the New England Journal of Medicine, on screening and over-diagnosis of carcinoma.

Within the paper, Dr. Welch included a figure, a graph, that's almost like one presented in 2015 by a Dartmouth colleague, Samir Soneji.

Misappropriation of figures has become an increasingly frequent the charge leveled against scientific authors, partially due to new digital tools that flag copied text and graphs.

The Dartmouth investigating committee concluded that the figure during this case was reproduced without proper attribution.

In a timeline he sent to the days, he acknowledged that he reviewed Dr. Soneji’s graphic the figure before publishing the New England Journal article.

He said he made adjustments to the graph supported his own analysis of the underlying data, therefore the graphs look similar but aren't identical.

In his letter to colleagues, Dr. Welch said Dartmouth demanded that he ask the New England Journal make Dr. Soneji the primary author of the paper, and forfeit his teaching= privileges, to stay at the school of medicine.

“I cannot in good conscience accept the demand that I make the complainant an author — much less the demand that I make him the primary author,” he wrote.

“Doing so requires that I falsely attest that he meets the wants of authorship: namely, that he materially participated within the work and is in a position to defend it.

Very much like I even have enjoyed working at Dartmouth, I'm not willing to falsely attest to anything simply to remain here.”

Dr. Welch’s research and commentary had prompted health officials worldwide to review their cancer screening guidelines, which he found often led to over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatments.

No comments:

Post a comment