Research and Fraud

How Science Goes Wrong in The Economist

Much of what we do in our class, and what educational researchers do everyday, is based on research that has been done before.  Having worked in the physical sciences, social sciences and now education, I’ve often wondered about the quality of research.  As I transitioned from the physical sciences to the social sciences, I began to see how easy it might be to “fake” results – something that I didn’t consider when in the physical sciences.

I’ve wondered similarly about fraud and educational research in the past several months.  Now stories are popping up in the media about a large percentage of results in Chinese science journals being fraudulent and the attached article as well.  I think it may be a warning shot across the bow of educational research.  Perhaps in the publish or perish environment of academia, there should be more respect given to replicating results.  I can understand that you don’t want researchers who are only capable of mimicking results, but a mix of replication and unique research would seem to be good for the scientific pursuit.  I wonder how many blind alley’s could be averted and resources saved through such a shift in thinking.

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