Admission Leads to First ORI Misconduct Finding in 10 Months
Eleven figures in a 2016 paper were fabricated or falsified by a former NIH “research training awardee” who admitted to the misconduct and agreed to a three-year supervisory plan should she receive HHS research support in the future, according to a notice in the June 20 Federal Register. The HHS Office of Research Integrity (ORI) said Brandi Baughman agreed to a supervisory plan and to exclude herself from serving as an HHS advisor for a period of three years beginning May 17. She was the lead author on the article, “A High-Throughput Screening-Compatible Strategy for the Identification of Inositol Pyrophosphate Kinase Inhibitors,” published in the Oct. 13, 2016, issue of PLOS One. “NIH recommended that the PLOS One 2016 paper be retracted,” the ORI notice states. The finding is the first that ORI has made since August. Historically the agency made 12-15 findings per year of fabrication, falsification and plagiarism, but it recently has been hobbled by the resignation of investigators and by allegations of dysfunction under director Kathryn Partin, who was appointed in December 2015 (RRC 6/17, p. 1).