Thursday, January 31, 2013

Plagiarism and Fraud in Research Grant Funding

A new research report published in Nature identifies several suspicious grant applications among those submitted to major granting agencies like NSF and NIH. The researchers used a text similarity detection program to search over 600,000 grant applications. Their analysis identified 167 duplicate grant pairs. The researchers then inspected the published reports from those grants and found that some researchers failed to include all grant funding in their report. This duplication resulted in millions of dollars being wasted on duplicate funding.

The conclusion from the analysis is that some researcher submit grants to multiple agencies and occasionally receive funding from both, for the same project. The authors recommend using this text-matching software by granting agencies to detect suspicious applications. Their hope is to reduce waste in government funding and provide more researchers with legitimate funding.

To read more and engage in a discussion with others, see the Chronicle article on the report.
To read the original report, including tables of duplicate funding in different agencies, see the article published in Nature.

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