I found people getting PhD without studying the concerned subjects for the work and did not do the experiment. Pictures and results were manipulated. published in Journal and got the Ph.D (by publishing in Paid journals and bribed the external examiners)

During this case, can we challenge the PhD degree? Kindly let me know what is the procedure.

  • I want to say that a degree given by such an institution is worthless anyway, but unfortunately (or, if you're from the same institution, fortunately), that's not always the case. Good luck!
    – Karl
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 19:51
  • Is the PhD from a reputable university? Anyone can buy a PhD for $100 (with no work at all), but that "PhD" is worthless since it's not from an accredited school. If this happened at a well-regarded school, that's a different matter, and the question becomes: how much evidence do you have?
    – cag51
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 21:20

3 Answers 3


Depends highly on the university. In the US, this would be a case to take to the dean of the graduate college, or an office of research integrity, if one exists and the problem is more systemic within a lab or group. My university has an office that handles all allegations of research misconduct & ethics, for instance, but for issues regarding students, this is typically handled by a dean. As Buffy says, getting a PhD revoked is probably going to be very hard, but this seems like a more systemic problem that should be brought to the attention of the school.

For the most part, US universities (perhaps with the exception of "for profit" schools) take this sort of thing very seriously. In other parts of the world, the incentive structure is usually somewhat different and the university may not take steps to rectify the situation.

I suppose the other question you have to ask yourself is this: does this just make the students look bad, or the whole university? It sounds like you may be a PhD student at the same university, in which case you would prefer if the university maintains a good academic integrity reputation, and hence pursing this at the institutional level might be worth it. If you think it's just a few "bad apples", then it might not be worth your time - their misconduct won't win them any favors and will probably sort itself out.


Challenging the work by submitting better work for publication is certainly possible and might bear on the reputation of the earlier authors and their institutions. But challenging the awarding of a degree is pretty rare and not very likely to succeed, I think. I'll guess that very few institutions have any established procedures for doing this and it would take a pretty extreme situation for them to consider it.

But fraud in grants or clear misconduct might be enough if it can be proved. Emphasis on proved.

But the "procedure" would be to raise the issue either publicly or with the institution directly.

Of course, certain claims will leave you open to charges of slander, so proceed cautiously.

The safest "procedure" for responding to poor work is better work rather than direct confrontation.


If you're saying the work was fraudulent, then yes, you can: academic misconduct is generally sufficient reason to revoke a PhD degree. Real-life example.

As for how to go about challenging the degree, I would ask the university, starting with the Head of Department.

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