Findings of Research Misconduct

Notice is hereby given that ORI and the Assistant Secretary for Health have taken final action in the following case:

Rashanda Robertson, former Research Coordinator, Department of General Medicine, Emory University, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by grant K23HL077597. Specifically, the Respondent admitted that she fabricated enrollment forms to create enrollees who did not exist and falsified the data of some enrollees who did not exist to cover up the data fabrication. To create the fabricated enrollment forms, the Respondent:

  • Identified patients who were eligible for the study based on their charge screens but who were considered ineligible after a face-to-face screen;
  • Obtained patients’ names from the screening records and used the names to obtain the personal information (address and telephone numbers) on these patients from the site hospital’s pharmacy online system;
  • Created a fabricated enrollment form for each of the non-existent enrollees; specifically, Respondent fabricated a participant’s name by using the name of a patient who had failed screening and then fabricated the date of enrollment by using the date of the patient’s screening failure; using this method, Respondent fabricated the participant names, personal information, and enrollment dates on twenty-eight (28) enrollment forms;
  • Dispersed the fabricated enrollment forms among those enrollment forms, beginning around participant number 136 through 212;
  • Falsified the numbering of the enrollment forms for some individuals who had actually been enrolled to disperse the fabricated enrollment forms among the authentic enrollment forms; Respondent falsified the status of some actual participants to include them in the intervention group, even though they had not actually received the intervention; Respondent falsified the data on both the enrollment form and the follow-up form for 16 participants between numbers 137 and 198;
  • Respondent falsified data on the enrollment forms and follow-up forms for participant numbers 153 and 154 by changing their enrollment numbers.

ORI acknowledges that the Respondent was remorseful.

Fortunately, the K23 PI has been quite productive in terms of publications (per RePORTER Results tab) and has taken a new position with promotion … but no R01 or other mechanism funding as yet (though K23 was suspended/extended from Sept 2007 to June 2010, probably due to change in institution and misconduct investigation).

6 Comments »

  1. BB said

    “Obtained patients’ names from the screening records and used the names to obtain the personal information (address and telephone numbers) on these patients from the site hospital’s pharmacy online system;”

    Would this be a HIPAA violation too?

    • whimple said

      Could be. A HIPAA violation is much worse than any kind of ORI-determined “misconduct”. You can get a heavy personal fine or jail time for messing up HIPAA.

  2. ORI acknowledges that the Respondent was remorseful.

    Another motherfucking fraudster who expresses “remorse”. Why the fucking fuck does ORI find it necessary to describe whether these fucks express remorse or not? Who gives a shit?

  3. True that CPP, these idiots only express remorse after being caught. You take the risk and cheat you gotta be ready to deal with the repercussions when the government brings the heat.

  4. noblesse d'epee said

    I have to agree with CPP. Putative remorse doesn’t count for much. I do, however, think that it is significant to acknowledge when a “compromised” scientist willingly provides information that leads to the unmasking of similarly fraudulent associates.

  5. MaddScientist said

    As an employee of the university I am very aware of this particular incident. I think that mentioning that the respondent was remorseful was to indicate that she wasn’t caught and probably never would have been caught but she actually fessed up to what she had done. If I’m not mistaken she actually informed the investigator of her actions personally. The research was never published or at least I don’t believe it was. The respondent actually worked with the university in trying to rectify the situation.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: