In my research I was asked to edit some conclusions making them more significant at the behest of my adviser. I did what I was asked because I was immature at that time in my thesis work. At that time I didn't know its was wrong.

These changes can't effect the anyone because I only changed the "p value" of the result. I changed a little in an "ANOVA table" for some result significance. If I put all results without change the "p value", the thesis can also be approved at that time. This all happened because of less knowledge of my adviser on how to tell me to change some results, which now I understand after my work and experience in teaching, but I inserted all the experimental data accurately in my thesis.

If someone checks my experiment data in "ANOVA" they can find the change in the "ANOVA table" (my mistake). Now I am worring about my thesis and Master degree. If someone complains in future about my thesis, will the University revoke my degree and how I can defend my degree? I worked on machining of some material in my thesis. Can I do something now to correct my thesis?

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    Your adviser asked you to create fake data?
    – T. Verron
    Oct 18, 2016 at 9:31
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    How about doing real experiments and reporting real results? A paper/thesis shouldn't be judged on P values alone! I'd say university could revoke your degree because of scientific misconduct, and for that it wouldn't matter if you falsify all or just some data.
    – Jasper
    Oct 18, 2016 at 10:06
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    It won't happen again, because you are going to look into scientific misconduct and are going to prevent that. Right? My university offers courses on Scientific Integrity, maybe your university has that as well?
    – Jasper
    Oct 18, 2016 at 10:39
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    Probably no one will ever actually look at the thesis again. You can't publish fake data though. Learn the lesson, don't fake data again, and move on.
    – Hobbes
    Oct 18, 2016 at 14:24
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    Thx Hobbes..i hope so..
    – srp
    Oct 18, 2016 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


This is very serious academic misconduct, of the type that reduces the confidence that the public and other scientists are able to have about scientific results. It doesn't matter if you did not change the raw data - you can't expect any readers to actually go through and do this analysis. Therefore, it is the results of the statistical tests, p-values, etc, that truly matter.

You should correct the problem as soon as possible, and beg for forgiveness. If this was done at the instruction of your advisor, that could be grounds for their dismissal from their position regardless of tenure. If you have submitted this work to any peer reviewed publication with these errors, you should inform the editors immediately and submit corrections that include the impacts on interpretation or withdraw the paper entirely.

Your program and your advisor have failed you in their duties if they have made completion of your graduate degree dependent on significant results. You should always design experiments that teach you something regardless of the outcome. Your institution should grant your degree as long as you have done sufficient work; this may be a lengthy, difficult process for you, particularly if you lose support of your advisor for this, but you may not want the support of your advisor if this turns out to be a pattern in their work. Most institutions have staff dedicated to academic misconduct that can assist you in this process.

  • 5
    You may also want to retain a lawyer. Oct 18, 2016 at 22:02

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