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Replication is a good idea, but this particular replication is a bit too exact!

The following showed up in my email one day:

From:
Subject: Self-Plagarism in Current Opinion in Psychology
Date: March 9, 2018 at 4:06:25 PM EST
To: “gelman@stat.columbia.edu”

Hello,

You might be interested in the tremendous amount of overlap between two recent articles by Benjamin & Bushman (2016 & 2018) in Current Opinion in Psychology. The articles “The Weapons Effect” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.04.011 and “The Weapons Priming Effect” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.05.003 seem to simply be lightly-rewritten versions of the same piece. Should readers be made aware of the overlap?

I don’t know who this “aoju3n+8h52tq8nmy8ms” person is, but . . . this story is amazing!

To say there’s a “tremendous amount of overlap” between these two papers is an understatement.

To start with, here are the abstracts:

From 2016:

In many societies, weapons are plentiful and highly visible. This review examines recent trends in research on the weapons priming effect, which is the finding that the mere presence of weapons can prime people to behave aggressively. The General Aggression Model provides a theoretical framework to explain why the weapons priming effect occurs. This model postulates that exposure to weapons increases aggressive thoughts and hostile appraisals, thus explaining why weapons facilitate aggressive behavior. Data from meta-analytic reviews are consistent with the General Aggression Model. These findings have important practical as well as theoretical implications. They suggest that the link between weapons and aggression is very strong in semantic memory, and that merely seeing a weapon can make people more aggressive.

from 2018:

In some societies, weapons are plentiful and highly visible. This review examines recent trends in research on the weapons effect, which is the finding that the mere presence of weapons can prime people to behave aggressively. The General Aggression Model provides a theoretical framework to explain why the weapons effect occurs. This model postulates that exposure to weapons increases aggressive thoughts and hostile appraisals, thus explaining why weapons facilitate aggressive behavior. Data from meta-analytic reviews are consistent with the General Aggression Model. These findings have important practical as well as theoretical implications. They suggest that the link between weapons and aggression is very strong in semantic memory, and that merely seeing a weapon can make people more aggressive.

It keeps going from there.

Really, there are only three things missing from that second paper:

1. A left quotation mark (“, or, as we say in Latex, “)

2. A right quotation mark (“, or, as we say in Latex, ”)

3. The following phrase at the very beginning of the paper: “As Benjamin and Bushman (2016) wrote:”

At times I’ve felt some sympathy for authors who follow Arrow’s theorem and publish the same article multiple times: after all, it gives you a change to reach multiple audiences.

But in this case there’s really no excuse at all, as the two papers are published in the very same journal.

Here’s something funny:

Can you believe it? Dude was so clueless that he copied an entire article he’d written, then edited that article, never remembering that he he already published it two years ago.

Brad J. Bushman is Professor of Communication and Psychology, Margaret Hall and Robert Randal Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication at Ohio State University. He also appears to be affiliated with Vrije Universiteit in the Netherlands. Perhaps he holds the Diederik Stapel chair there?

A google search also revealed that Brad Bushman retracted a paper which caused one of his students to retroactively lose her Ph.D. from Ohio State. Bushman has published other papers that appear to have problems. In the meantime, though, he “received the Kurt Lewin Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues for ‘outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action.'”

Bushman also reports:

I have published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Umm, better change that to “over 199,” as I don’t think “The weapons effect” and “The weapons priming effect” should count as two papers. If publishing two papers with the same content counts as two different articles, then I could easily up my publication count to 10,000 by just standing by the xerox machine.

P.S. I searched Ohio State University’s misconduct rules and found this, which is item 5 on a list of examples of academic misconduct:

Submitting substantially the same work to satisfy requirements for one course or academic requirement that has been submitted in satisfaction of requirements for another course or academic requirement without permission of the instructor of the course for which the work is being submitted or supervising authority for the academic requirement.

Apparently this is a problem if you’re a student, not so much if you’re the “Margaret Hall and Robert Randal Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication.”

Jeez. Bushman was editing the damn journal issue. If he and his collaborators really had nothing new to say, then fine, why not just reproduce the abstract from the earlier paper, with direct citation, and let some other people publish something in the journal? What’s the point of it all? Just to rack up your publication count from 199 to 200?

The whole thing is so pitiful, to go to the trouble of cheating and not even get anything for it. Really the worst of both worlds.

Say what you want about Lance Armstrong, at least he got to wear the yellow jersey for awhile. And Barry Bonds, he got the home run record. But Brad J. Bushman, all he got for his efforts was a duplicate paper in a journal that nobody reads. Was it really worth it, dude?

P.P.S. I just realized something. The guy’s job title is Chair of Mass Communication. Publishing the same article multiple times, that really is a form of “mass communication”!

57 Comments

  1. Marcus says:

    Somehow this would be mildly less bad if these two articles were identical (still terrible but very slightly less terrible) because then accidental dual publication might be the reason, but there are enough minor differences as to suggest that the authors simply rephrased a couple of sections and submitted the same paper again to the same journal.

    • Andrew says:

      Marcus:

      I guess that, even with the revisions, it could be an accident. Maybe the file was on their computers, they altered it and then published it, without remembering the earlier publication. There are two authors, so maybe author #1 handled the first paper in 2015 and author #2 handled the second paper in 2015. All things are possible.

      • Marcus says:

        That is possible. However, the second article has been available online for almost a year (since 18 April, 2017). I would probably have noticed the dual publication within a year and asked the journal to remove the second paper but perhaps these authors publish so much that they have trouble keeping up with all of their articles.

  2. anon says:

    Pardon me – “Perhaps he holds the Diederik Stapel chair there?”. So all Dutch people are frauds?

  3. LemmusLemmus says:

    I seem to remeber that Bushman also made an appearance on a page you linked to which pointed out the multitude of operationalizations of a popular psychological theory (in some cases, different operationalizations by the same author). Sorry, that’s the level of detail my memory provides.

    • Andrew says:

      Lemmus:

      I don’t recall having ever heard of Brad Bushman before. A quick google search turns up this paper with the hilarious title, “Low glucose relates to greater aggression in married couples,” and which begins:

      People are often the most aggressive against the people to whom they are closest—intimate partners. Intimate partner violence might be partly a result of poor self-control. Self-control of aggressive impulses requires energy, and much of this energy is provided by glucose derived from the food we eat. We measured glucose levels in 107 married couples over 21 days. To measure aggressive impulses, participants stuck 0–51 pins into a voodoo doll that represented their spouse each night, depending how angry they were with their spouse. To measure aggression, participants blasted their spouse with loud noise through headphones. Participants who had lower glucose levels stuck more pins into the voodoo doll and blasted their spouse with louder and longer noise blasts.

      Sticking 0-51 pins into a voodoo doll, huh? I could see sticking 1 or 2 pins into the doll, but 51?! That’s a bit outta control, no? Is it a voodoo doll or a pincushion?

      As a bonus, the article appeared in PNAS and was edited by Roy Baumeister. What could possibly go wrong?

      The paper carefully follows Rolf Zwaan’s 18 rules for writing a successful PNAS paper, even going to the trouble of leading off with a celebrity quote (#12 on Zwaan’s list).

      I still can’t believe there were people who’d go to the trouble of sticking 51 pins into a voodoo doll. 51, that’s such a high number—where did it come from? What the heck, why not go all the way up to 100?

      I think this particular paper was published only once. Just as well. After all, how often do you really want to type the phrase, “Thus, having lower evening glucose levels related to stabbing a voodoo doll that represented one’s spouse with more pins”? Ouch!

  4. Paul Alper says:

    Andrew wrote: “after all, it gives you a change to reach multiple audiences.” Obviously a Freudian slip because the intention was to write, “after all, it gives you a chance to reach multiple audiences.” But change was on his mind.

  5. Psyman says:

    Also worth noting that in the same special issue – he edited – he has 5 of his own articles! https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/current-opinion-in-psychology/vol/19/suppl/C

  6. Jonathan (another one] says:

    Don’t be hating on Barry Bonds or I’ll have to sic Kanye on you. Cleared in a court of law…Never suspended or disciplined by the league. Wansink, sure… But leave BB in peace.

    • Jordan Anaya says:

      I’m with Jonathan. You have to keep in mind that the pitchers Bonds faced were also enhanced, so it cancels out.

    • Andrew says:

      Just don’t tell me you’re a Lance Armstrong fan.

      • Jordan Anaya says:

        No, I don’t care about cycling.

        BTW, did you watch the Roger Clemens senate hearing? I remember watching while in undergrad. Watching Clemens when faced with the fact that his best friend Andy Pettitte claimed Clemens talked about using, Clemens trainer McNamee said Clemens used, and that HGH was delivered to his house was a sight to behold. Even facing all of this, he still stuck to his story–the HGH was apparently for his wife not him.

      • Phil says:

        My problem with Armstrong is not that he cheated — if you didn’t cheat in those years then you had no chance to be a great or even solid professional cyclist. You could either do what all of your peers were doing, or you could find another career; and if you took the latter path your choice was to fade away in obscurity or to go out in a blaze of glory by exposing all of your teammates and friends. Under the circumstances I find it hard to be too condemnatory of the ones who chose to dope. I reserve most of my contempt for the heads of the sport who, as with baseball, decided it would be better to let the doping continue than to institute a genuine program to stop it.

        No, my problem with Armstrong is that he was so very horrible to people who tried to tell the truth about him. When his former masseusse denied that Armstrong had had saddle sores (after he tested positive for steroids and claimed this was due to a steroid cream he was using), he said he had fired her when he discovered she was working as a prostitute on the side. When Greg LeMond called Armstrong out for cheating, Armstrong used his clout with his sponsors to give LeMond the choice of recanting or having his business destroyed. Some other top cyclists who got caught just took their two-year suspensions in silence, others protested their innocence, but as far as I know only Armstrong had this scorched earth policy of trying to ruin the careers and even lives of people who tried to expose him. If he were innocent that might have been OK — hey, if someone is slandering you, go ahead and go after them — but since he was guilty it’s despicable.

  7. Anonymous says:

    That 2018 paper/version seems to be part of a special issue:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/current-opinion-in-psychology/vol/19/suppl/C

    And if i am not mistaken, Bushman seems to be (co-) author on another 4 papers in that issue.

    But as always: don’t hate the player, hate the game! Damn those “incentives”. What does that word even mean? How did they come into existence? Why did they come into existence? Who is responsible for that?

    So many questions that i think could be useful to try and answer and add to the discussion about possibly improving (psychological) science. Shouldn’t these types of questions be answered before coming up with possible solutions? And if so, why does it seem to me that this is not really done in current discussions about “incentives”…

  8. The great Mzungu (I need more iron) says:

    What the researchers (in the article under discussion here) say has been measured:

    “Several other experiments have demonstrated the robustness of the priming of aggressive thoughts using weapons.”

    But what actually has been measured:

    “In one experiment, participants were exposed to picture–word pairs. The picture in each pair was an alcohol prime (e.g., beer bottle, martini glass), a weapon prime (e.g., gun, knife), or a neutral prime (e.g., plants). The target word was an aggressive word, a nonaggressive word, or a non-word. Participants determined as quickly as possible if the second item in each pair was a real word or a non-word, a procedure called a lexical decision task. The researchers found that participants responded significantly faster to aggressive words than nonaggressive words when primed with weapon and alcohol pictures”

    Now, I have no problems understanding non-direct measurement of e.g. aggressive thoughts–usually in psychology it is impossible to take a bathroom scale, weight a person before and while being pissed off and say that they had 100 grams more of violent thoughts–but sometimes the leaps of faith taken seem just absolutely ridiculous. Like here. People could categorize words faster in one condition–and suddenly this means that they had more aggressive thoughts. And of course this conclusion is uncontroversial, it shows how “[p]riming plays a critical role in the weapons effect” and that “weapons have a strong influence on hostile appraisals”.

    Also… I appreciate Anonymous’ snark about this dude publishing a batch of his own articles in an issue he has edited himself. Indeed, it is not a rare thing to witness–but it’s those damn incentives! Otherwise everyone’d be doing completely ethical research! But what can you do, you can’t change anything or have responsibility for anything unless someone else comes forth and changes the rules. No can do.

    • Anonymous says:

      “But what can you do, you can’t change anything or have responsibility for anything unless someone else comes forth and changes the rules. No can do.”

      Especially as a tenured professor (which i assume Bushman is)! I mean the narrative that “incentives are to blame” for everything wrong in science seems to me to not take the role of tenured professors into account in several ways.

      For starters, i thought scientists reached the “top” by receiving tenure, so why exactly are they still under the influence of the bad “incentives” and why would they still need to churn out (bad) studies via as much publications as possible?

      Also, i thought that tenure was supposed to result in academic freedom for the common good, which to me implies that tenured professors could never be under the influence of a possibly “bad incentive structure”?

      Again, so many questions about these “incentives” that could be useful to try and answer in trying to improve (psychological) science i reason…

      • Martha (Smith) says:

        “i thought scientists reached the “top” by receiving tenure, so why exactly are they still under the influence of the bad “incentives” and why would they still need to churn out (bad) studies via as much publications as possible? “

        Duh — ego greed? Kinda like, “How many chicks can I score with?”

        • Andrew says:

          Martha:

          Sure, but how much ego boost do you get from publishing the exact same article two years ago in the exact same journal? At that point, you might as just stand by the xerox machine and start making copies.

      • Mary Kuhner says:

        Even for a tenured scientist, failure to get grants can be disastrous. Sure, you keep your job. But you lose your entire lab, all of your employees, possibly all of your students–in my department the PI is expected to support his/her graduate students after about year 3. I have seen a colleague go through this and it is very painful.

        And not all scientific researchers, by far, are tenured professors. I’ve been in academia 28 years but due to some odd early decisions do not have tenure and never will; and I’m far from the only person in that situation. I am on a soft-money appointment–if I don’t get grants I could be fired, though what’s happened in the past is that I’m offered the exiting chance to teach 200-student undergrad courses until I can get funding for research. Which I’m grateful for, don’t get me wrong, but it certainly underscores that I need to get grants.

        That said, there’s no use bemoaning “incentives” until we are willing to DO SOMETHING about them. Many of us sit on grant review committees. Do we push back on the “Well, they have few publications, let’s not fund them” reasoning? Many of us sit on hiring and tenure committees, or at least vote on hiring and tenure. Do we push back?

        I haven’t done so as much as I feel I should. I’m looking for ways to do better without getting myself fired or disinvited.

        • Anonymous says:

          # “Even for a tenured scientist, failure to get grants can be disastrous”

          Ehm “disastrous” for a tenured scientist? They can’t lose their job if i am not mistaken. Losing your entire lab, employees, all your students…i am not sure how that works and if that’s “disastrous”.

          I am most familiar with psychological science, and reasoning from that a “lab” consists of nothing if i am not mistaken: it’s just a fancy name for a senior scientist with a website who uses stuff and options from the university, somehow always manages to get fundung to hire PhD students, has lots of eager students to do boring work for free/very little money to boost their CV’s, alltogether resulting in this senior scientist being able to boost his/her CV with even more (useless?) publications.

          What’s the problem with them losing that “publication factory”? They could for instance use all their knowledge and wisdom to write summary/theoretical papers (partly) based on their own work. They could think about ways to improve their science. They could teach students research methods and perform research with them in class (which can even lead to papers). So many options, without access to grant money, students who work for free/little money, PhD students, etc.

          # “I am on a soft-money appointment–if I don’t get grants I could be fired (…)”

          Ah, perhaps this is useful to further investigate. I have asked this on this site before and if i am not mistaken someone told me the university gets a share of grant money. Now, that’s where it all begins to make sense to me.

          Just to be sure however, why would your university care that you (un-tenured) bring in grant money? Is it because they get money from it in some way?

          Regardless, perhaps your comment brings me further down this path of “incentives”. The narrative to me up until now as far as i understood it has always been the “pressure to publish” narrative (a.k.a. “bad incentives”). But, if i am not mistaken, you point out that these publications are not neccesarily useful in and of themselves (and indeed why on earth would a university care about how many papers their staff have?) but they could lead to grant money.

          Two questions:

          1) If this is correct, have i been missing this part from all the recent “incentives’-discussion/papers?

          2) If yes, why has this not been mentioned and would it be useful to do this?

          • Martha (Smith) says:

            I think Mary’s post is an important contribution to the discussion. I know a tenured professor in Engineering who spends considerable time applying for (and worrying about getting) grants, because they are necessary to support his grad students and post docs. So this is a case where he’s not in it for glory or ego boost, but sees it as his responsibility to the people who work in his lab; it’s like supporting a family.

            Responding specifically to Anonymous’s comment, “I am most familiar with psychological science, and reasoning from that a “lab” consists of nothing if i am not mistaken: it’s just a fancy name for a senior scientist with a website who uses stuff and options from the university, somehow always manages to get fundung to hire PhD students, has lots of eager students to do boring work for free/very little money to boost their CV’s, alltogether resulting in this senior scientist being able to boost his/her CV with even more (useless?) publications.”:

            I am familiar with labs in engineering, biology, and physics. They typically require a lot of sophisticated computing power, and usually other expensive equipment as well, depending on the subject (e.g., equipment for sequencing genomes, or for studying live animals, or for simulating various physical phenomena, or for building and testing prototypes).

            • Andrew says:

              Martha:

              People do all sorts of bad things when they feel they’re doing it for the benefit of others who they are protecting.

              • Martha (Smith) says:

                Yes, I am aware that people do all sorts of bad things when they feel they’re doing it for the benefit of others. But I have no evidence that the engineering professor that I mentioned was doing anything bad – he was griping about the system, about the time he had to spend to apply for the grants, time that he would rather have spent on working with his students and post-docs.

                My point was that “the system” and “the problem” are more complex than just “ego boost,” which is what I had been focusing on before Mary’s post.

            • Anonymous says:

              # “I am familiar with labs in engineering, biology, and physics. They typically require a lot of sophisticated computing power, and usually other expensive equipment as well, depending on the subject (e.g., equipment for sequencing genomes, or for studying live animals, or for simulating various physical phenomena, or for building and testing prototypes).”

              Yes, that is also my understanding of what a real lab consists of. Regardless, i reason that 1) all that computing power, equipment, etc. will not vanish into thin air if a tenured professor would, for instance, not receive their next grant. Furthermore, 2) i assume that equipment is owned by the university and not the professor. The professor does not have to sell his/her fancy equipment on Craigslist because he/she can no longer use it if he/she will not receive his/her next grant.

              If 1) and 2) are correct, then i don’t see any problem (let alone someting “devastating” that could happen to tenured professors) if a tenured professor would not get any more grants. I reason all the equipment, computing power, etc. is still there, so the professor can still do a lot of work i assume. Others will be able to use it as well. And more importantly all this “pressure to publish” stuff, which apparently can lead to “bad” science, is now off the table so the professor can (finally?) do some real science!

              In light of all this “incentive”/”pressure to publish” talk of the past 5 years or so and the posts here in this thread, i am trying to find out what exactly could be the real issue. The more i think about it, the more i think “pressure to publish” might not be the real issue, or at least that’s only a part of the total story.

              The more information i get about how universities/professors/journals operate, the more i get the idea that the real issue might all have to do with money. I am not sure exactly how though, but perhaps this whole discussion as least brought me one step closer to the truth:

              – perhaps grants are given to folks with lots of publications
              – perhaps universities get a piece of that grant money (in some way of form)
              – perhaps that’s why universities care about their staff publishing lots of papers

              • Martha (Smith) says:

                Money is definitely a big issue in many fields, in lots of ways.

                For example, you say, “all that computing power, equipment, etc. will not vanish into thin air if a tenured professor would, for instance, not receive their next grant.”

                Yes, it will not vanish into thin air, but without the money to pay the people who operate and maintain the equipment, then the equipment most likely will not be used, so could end up in a warehouse, or sold for scrap, or whatever.

              • Anonymous says:

                # “Yes, it will not vanish into thin air, but without the money to pay the people who operate and maintain the equipment, then the equipment most likely will not be used, so could end up in a warehouse, or sold for scrap, or whatever.”

                Again, i don’t see any problem with that whatsoever. If a university bought expensive equipment based on a single researcher’s proposal and/or received grant that may not be a smart thing to do. Perhaps it will be a good thing when universities pay more attention toward investing in equipment.

                I did a quick search concerning fMRI at universities. This is the 1st thing i looked at:

                http://fmri.research.umich.edu/users/billing.php

                From what i can understand, after a quick scan (pun intended), it seems to me that this information/protocol for use of expensive fMRI-equipment at this university follows what i thought might be the case: there is talk of “billing”, and that “Processing data is the responsibility of the user. Please see our Resources page for software we are happy to share with our users, as well as tips for processing data.” So it seems to me that the fMRI equipment/lab/staff in lab might be a seperate thing (as in it not being tied to a specific researcher) at this university and more importantly seems to be owned by the university (which is what i thought might be the case). It looks to me that researchers with grant money can sort of rent the eqiupment and/or staff for their studies. So, if this is correct, i reason nothing will be sold on Craigslist or put in a warehouse, and nothing disastrous will happen when a particular researcher will not get a grant.

                It seems reasonable to assume that if nobody will ever get money to rent the fMRI equipment at that university, that perhaps the university could end up selling the equipment and/or firing fMRI-staff (although that may not even be the case), but i reason that that is not a problem in and of itself. As i stated above, this may simply reflect the universities poor spending and/or is simply a foreseen part of the initial investment.

                Without further information i still reason, especially in psychological science, nothing “diasastrous” will happen when a tenured professor would not receive any more grants for the rest of his/her life!

              • Martha (Smith) says:

                Anonymous:

                Yes, in some areas (such as the fMRI research you mention) researchers “pay”for use of equipment that is owned by the University or another organization.

                Examples where the equipment may not be owned by a university but by a government agency or a consortium, and where scientists typically “pay” for time with money obtained from grants (or are given time by applying to the organization in a grant-like application): Astronomers pay for observation time at observatories; they typically get the money from grants;physicists pay for time on particle accelerators.

                But the “equipment bought by individual grants which also provide for salaries for personnel to use and maintain the equipment” model is also common — e.g., in a lot of biology and engineering fields.

                So the situation depends on the nature of the field and the equipment in question.

                Since you have referred to fMRI and psychological science research in particular: My impression is that psychological science research is, on average, in worse shape than most science/engineering areas as far as intellectual honesty (which is not to say there is none in biology,engineering, etc. — it’s just not as egregious.) And, although fMRI research uses fancy equipment, from what I have read of the field, it can be very weak on the statistical analysis (e.g.,http://www.ma.utexas.edu/blogs/mks/2013/01/23/more-re-simmons-et-al-part-ii-not-far-enough/).

              • Anonymous says:

                # “The more information i get about how universities/professors/journals operate, the more i get the idea that the real issue might all have to do with money”

                Ah, just came across this recent paper that mentions money/grants: “Psychology’s Replication Crisis and the Grant Culture: Righting the Ship” by Scott O. Lilienfeld

                http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1745691616687745

                “At the same time, institutional variables, especially the growing emphasis on external funding as an expectation or de facto requirement for faculty tenure and promotion, pose largely unappreciated hazards for psychological science, including (a) incentives for engaging in questionable research practices, (b) a single-minded focus on programmatic research, (c) intellectual hyperspecialization, (d) disincentives for conducting direct replications, (e) stifling of creativity and intellectual risk taking, (f) researchers promising more than they can deliver, and (g) diminished time for thinking deeply. Preregistration should assist with (a), but will do little about (b) through (g). Psychology is beginning to right the ship, but it will need to confront the increasingly deleterious impact of the grant culture on scientific inquiry”

                &

                “In today’s academic environment, big-picture thinkers may at risk for extinction (Wolfe, 2016). Paul Meehl, the most influential clinical psychologist of the latter half of the 20th century, received a grand total of one federal grant in his career.”

        • Corporations along a parallel and intersecting track shape university professorial incentives. Derek Bok, former President of Harvard wrote some of the earlier work on the evolution of university incentives. So it’s a complicated environment and it takes exceptional leadership to push up against the status quo.

      • Anonymous says:

        Note: I was a grad student where Bushman teaches, but never had any interactions with him other than taking a course from him. Maybe I’m still not impartial, though.

        I don’t know about other schools, but my understanding is that even with a full professorship, pay increases are determined in part by research productivity at OSU. That is at least my impression from chatting with my own advisor at that program. In that sense, there is no end to the incentives to publish frequently even if the biggest ones are already past you as a full prof.

  9. Brat Bushman is indeed also affiliated to the Free University of Amsterdam (VU University Amsterdam, http://www.vu.nl), see https://fsw.vu.nl/en/departments/communication-science/staff/bushman/index.aspx Both articles also list VU University Amsterdam as one of the affiliations of Brat Bushman.

    Brat Bushman must thus act at all times, and always for the full 100%, according to the 2014 version of the VSNU Code of Conduct at
    http://www.vsnu.nl/files/documenten/Domeinen/Onderzoek/The_Netherlands_Code%20of_Conduct_for_Academic_Practice_2004_(version2014).pdf Item 10 of the Preamble of the VSNU CoC refers in this case to https://www.vu.nl/en/Images/VU-VUmc_Complaint_regulations_Academic_Integrity_-_January_2016_tcm270-749021.pdf

    Item 1.5 of the VSNU CoC states:

    “Academic practitioners do not republish their own previously published work or parts thereof as though it constituted a new contribution to the academic literature. When republishing previously published findings, they indicate this with a correct reference to the source or by another means accepted within the discipline. In many disciplines it is permissible and even customary to reprint short texts from works published with or without coauthors without a source reference when it concerns brief passages of introductory, theoretical or methodological explanation.”

    ‘Annex 1. Breaches of academic integrity’, part of complaint regulations, see above, states:

    “‘Breaches of academic integrity’ include at any rate the following misconduct (…) Fair recognition of the intellectual property represented by each person’s individual contribution to the knowledge is a cornerstone academic principle. This applies to the entire range of student papers and theses up to academic publications and dissertations. This concerns not only verbatim copying, but also paraphrasing, omitting notes or source references, and secretly using data, designs or tables compiled by others. Copyright law enables victims of plagiarism to obtain satisfaction through the courts, but even if there is not any direct victim (or no longer any direct victim), a researcher can still be charged with plagiarism.”

    Anyone who holds the opinion that there is a serious allegation of research misconduct, so for example serious evidence of plagiarism, can file a complaint at VU University Amsterdam. See for details also https://www.vu.nl/en/about-vu-amsterdam/academic-integrity/index.aspx Complainers don’t need an affiliation and/or other credentials (“Anyone may file a complaint with the ExB.”, article 2.1 of the complaint regulations).

  10. Samuel says:

    One of the researchers who discovered the irregularities that led to Bushman’s student losing her PhD has a great timeline of the whole ordeal: http://www.malte-elson.com/headshot/#event-analyses-of-miscoded-data

    The thing that jumps out to me is just how much time and effort it took for them to get this one paper retracted. The inertia and apathy on display at both the university and journal level is amazing to behold.

    • Smut Clyde says:

      What impresses me about the timeline is that even after Bushman accepted that his analysis was based on selectively-edited data, even after explaining that the original data-set was no longer accessible, he was still accusing his critics of pursuing a political agenda, and writing to their institutions to get them censured or fired.

      • Malte says:

        I don’t think it was he who filed the complaint with our universities. OSU was acting in their own interests.

      • Andrew says:

        Here it is, from Elson’s timeline:

        OSU’s Senior Vice President for Research files a formal complaint with Villanova University and Ruhr University Bochum, claiming that [critics] PM and ME have breached confidentiality, undermined the investigative process, caused harm to the individuals involved in the process, and negatively affected OSU’s ability to ensure the integrity of the scientific record. OSU asks their universities to recognize the harm PM and ME have caused.

        Wow! So that’s what a “senior vice president for research” does? How horrible. Ohio State seems like one screwed-up place.

        Ohio State is a public university so we can look up salaries online. In 2016 the Senior Vice President for Research had annual base pay of $415,466, regular pay of $421,045, bonus of $27,101, and a total pay of $448,146.

        The $27,101 bonus is a nice touch. I guess you get extra for attacking whistleblowers.

        • Jordan Anaya says:

          I saw a study or article that discussed how these administrators were grossly overpaid if you compared the number of publications they published per year compared to a typical faculty member. But I guess once you are famous enough to get one of these positions you aren’t really expected to do research anymore.

          • Andrew says:

            Jordan:

            I don’t think publication rate is relevant here, as the administrative job is so much different from the research job. In any case, I’m bothered when someone gets paid $448,146 a year to intimidate whistleblowers.

    • Jordan Anaya says:

      Hmm, I always thought the grad student got thrown under the bus, but reading this timeline the grad student looks pretty guilty.

  11. Dale Lehman says:

    Here is an update: I contacted the authors about the two almost-identical papers. They immediately acknowledged that the later paper should have cited the earlier paper and said they would ask the journal editors to add that reference to the second paper. I indicated that I did not think that was adequate – had it been done at the outset, the referee/editorial process would have had a chance to work (either by asking them to submit a shorter update note or inserting a statement that the paper is essentially the earlier paper with a few additional references). I also referred them to the discussion on this blog about it. I received the following from the authors:

    “Dr. Lehman:

    We have contacted the editorial team of the journal, Current Opinion in Psychology, and that we are awaiting their guidance regarding this matter. We agree with your feedback that a few superficial changes are insufficient, and we will take every step necessary to make this right.

    Thank you once more for alerting us to what is clearly a serious problem.”

    Regardless of other assorted issues people may have with the work and history, I am gratified to see them clearly acknowledge the mistake and express their intent to fix it.

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