The value of statistical tools to detect data fabrication

Last modified: May 22, 2017

This project aims to investigate how statistical tools can help detect potential data fabrication in the social- and medical sciences. In this proposal we outline three projects to assess the value of such statistical tools to detect potential data fabrication and make the first steps in order to apply them automatically to detect data anomalies, potentially due to data fabrication.

In Project 1, we examine the performance of statistical methods to detect data fabrication in a mixture of genuine and fabricated data sets, where the fabricated data sets are generated by actual researchers who participate in our study. We also interview these researchers in order to investigate, in Project 2, different data fabrication characteristics and whether data generated with certain characteristics are better detected with current statistical tools than others. In Project 3 we use software to semi-automatically screen research articles to detect data anomalies that are potentially due to fabrication, and develop and test new software forming the basis for automated screening of research articles for data anomalies, potentially due to data fabrication, in the future.

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