I am a graduate student. My department head is manipulating data in his research papers and skillfully alters plagiarized text to avoid detection. I found this out while working with him on a journal article. Specifically, he modified data points (right in front of me) to dramatically increase our R^2 value, and then he told me to do some formatting and submit it to a journal. I politely confronted him but he did not concede and I backed off from that paper. Later, other professors confirmed that most of his papers are bogus and results are fabricated.
He mentioned once that the reason for choosing nanotechnology (which he is not familiar with) is that there is very little literature available and few experts to review the paper. He gets through the review process by using a plethora of statistical analysis results (with fabricated data) to support his claim and gets through (some) editors by using fancy terms like neural network and fuzzy logic. The irony is that he does not even know the underlying theory of whatever analysis he is doing. How do I know this? I uttered a few doubts and the responses were extremely poor. He uses Minitab and Matlab tools to get things done. He once jokingly told me that he gets a paper ready overnight. Maybe it was not a joke after all.
Reporting to the management is useless as they won’t listen to me. I cannot challenge his paper, because I barely know anything in nanotechnology (neither does he). Editors won’t take me seriously since he has considerable reputation due to articles in high impact journals. So what should I do? I could not tolerate his insanity and literature pollution.
- I am about to graduate and leave the department for good.
- I managed to avoid submitting the fradulent paper because I eventually convinced him that the hypothesis was fundamentally wrong. I still have the original manuscript he mailed to me from his unofficial mail id.
- Institutional routes are closed, I tried complaining about his poor lecture quality once (anonymously) and it backfired for the entire class. He has 15 years of experience, 20+ journal article and numerous conference papers. I don't stand a chance against him.
Update: I will try to report this issue to retraction watch or through any other means possible. Still it is not possible to disprove his claims without repeating the experiment.