PETALING JAYA: A committee set up by Universiti Malaya (UM) to investigate allegations of research falsification has found that there were duplication and or manipulation of almost all figures (images and graphs) within the original Scientific Reports paper and across three other papers.
UM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin said the findings from the investigation suggests that all four articles were prepared by a single set of data.
“As UM adheres to a strict policy of integrity and ethical practices in research, the authors have been asked to retract all published articles in Scientific Reports, PeerJ and Recent Patents on Anticancer Drug Discovery immediately,” he said in a statement Thursday.
Prof Mohd Amin said the author and co-authors have also been interviewed by the committee, which consisted of senior members from the Faculty of Medicine.
“As a research university, UM does not condone any form of research misconduct, and allegations of malpractice in research are taken seriously by the university’s management,” he said.
He said a complete report has been submitted to the university’s Research Integrity and Ethics Committee for further deliberation including appropriate disciplinary action to be taken on the researchers.
The committee, which was chaired by Faculty of Medicine dean Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, said the university would be taking disciplinary actions after investigations were completed.
On Tuesday, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the ministry would investigate allegations that a group of researchers from UM’s Institute of Biological Sciences had falsified research data.
He said he would personally look into the matter following wide-ranging postings on social media that questioned the integrity of the researchers, whose paper underwent three rounds of peer reviews.
Idris said there was no compromise on such matters, adding that action would be taken against them to uphold the integrity of the education system.