Scientific Misconduct Charge Ruled Valid
Published on August 09, 1993
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio State University faculty committee investigating charges of scientific misconduct against a senior chemistry researcher has determined the charges to be valid. Earlier this year, the National Science Foundation informed the university of the charges against Leo Paquette, professor of chemistry, and requested that the university initiate an investigation. The allegations involved questions of plagiarism regarding introductory material he had included in a research paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. None of the allegations involved falsification of data or fabrication of research results. The committee concluded that Dr. Paquette had included in that introduction background information he had received as a reviewer of a grant proposal to the NSF without attributing the information to its author. NSF regulations require reviewers to safeguard the information they receive as participants in the peer review process. Dr. Paquette strongly denies the allegations and asked Joan Huber, former vice president for academic affairs and provost, to review the committee's report. Huber agreed with the committee's findings. Therefore, the university is taking the following actions based on the committee's recommendations: -- Dr. Paquette will be barred from participating in the peer review of confidential scientific proposals during his employment by the university; -- The Department of Chemistry will consider whether to allow Dr. Paquette to continue to supervise the research of graduate students and postdoctoral associates. In addition, the university is informing the NSF of the committee's findings regarding Dr. Paquette; apologizing to the author of the NSF proposal in question and to the Journal of the ACS; and informing Dr. Paquette's co-authors of the journal article in question that the university's investigation in no way implicated them with the charges. The Office of Academic Affairs will also initiate separate proceedings against Dr. Paquette under university rules concerning faculty misconduct to determine whether disciplinary sanctions are appropriate. Under university guidelines for investigating scientific misconduct, the only actions that can be taken are those necessary to protect research. This is the second time Dr. Paquette has been found by a university committee to have engaged in scientific misconduct. A separate faculty investigating committee determined in 1992 that he had plagiarized material from another researcher's grant application in his own proposal for research support. In that case, the U.S. Public Health Service's Office of Research Integrity ruled that Dr. Paquette should be barred from serving on Public Health Service committees, boards and review groups for 10 years, and that any research proposals submitted by him be certified by the university. # Contact: Malcolm Baroway (614) 292-6895. [Submitted by: GERSTNER (firstname.lastname@example.org) Mon, 09 Aug 93 09:45:15 EST] All documents are the responsibility of their originator.