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This is a blog whose core interest is fraud and fraud investigation. In addition to writing about the handling of fraud generally, we will try to present posts on areas of laws and investigative actions relevant to the handling of biomedical research fraud. Our first post discusses the definitions of fraud that we intend to employ.
We will also try something new here (at least so far as we know). In the course of projects we have been conducting for the past several years, largely in a confidential fashion, we have been provided with case information and evidence from various biomedical researchers and others who have been unable to get what they believe to be a satisfactory response from responsible entities. In our “test” posts, we will report on the effectiveness of various organizations that seemingly offer an alternate route to handling such matters.
Privacy and Authorship Policy
We are strong believers in the importance of being allowed to speak publicly while still trying to protect oneself from career harm or other retribution. We will present some of the history of the use of pen names, aliases, and “handles” in our associated confidential communications blog.
Although we intend to allow the use of pen names, it is also our intent to vet authors such that we will know who they are and the authenticity of any training and credentials they claim. We will present the latter, in generalized form, in author bios, should the authors wish to write using a pen name.
Should any author wish to also publish any post using his or her real identity, we will allow that as well. Remarkably, we already have one who wishes to do just that. His reasoning is that for posts in which he presents what could be taken as criticism of actions taken by others, he will post under a pen name to protect his and his institution’s professional interests. However, when he publishes purely technical posts, he wishes to use his real identity in order to be able to reference the post and also to gain credit for it.
We will take what precautions we can to protect authors’ identities while they communicate with us, should they so desire, by using the approaches being detailed in the confidential communications sister blog and outlined in the Contact page.
We ask that our readers respect a writer’s wish to publish under a pen name. By that we mean that it is often possible to deduce the true identity of pseudonymous writers, but nevertheless, please refrain from “outing” them against their will.
Protecting oneself is a personal judgment. If, however, a reader does guess the identity of a writer and believes he or she has basis to challenge what we have stated in the writer’s bio, please use one of the more confidential methods of communication we have discussed to let us know so that we can further investigate.
An easy and relatively secure method to get in touch with us is to use the mail form here. Please use the same form to express any interest in authoring your own post.
Therefore, if any reader has an idea for a post dealing with fraud, including not only its investigation but also important areas related to its investigation including the behavioral sciences, this site will honor requests to publish under a pen name so long as the author cooperates in our establishing his or her true identity, including any educational training the author wishes to claim such as degrees and certifications, as well as experience in the area of desired publication. We do not promise to publish any potential post submitted to us, but we will do our best to review the post and provide a response to the author in a timely fashion.
The posting of comments will be available to anyone, with the sole stipulation that we will review them for relevance and lack of potentially defamatory content – which will of course depend on what evidence is provided by the commenter. Note that in the U.S., the truth, as determined by the evidence, is an absolute defense to defamation. Should we miss a post that an affected party believes is defamatory, please contact us directly.
Finally, in fraud investigation, as in scientific research, please remember that the evidence should rule.
Original date of posting January 30, 2015