Three updates re: wire fraud charges against the disgraced former dean of Temple Business School for submitting fake data to U.S. News & World Reports (see my post below):
1. My colleague and friend Orin S. Kerr has posted this thread on Twitter asking the following question, “What exactly is criminal, if anything, about submitting fake data to US News?” (I guess there is such a thing as a dumb question.)
2. Professor Kerr’s friend Micheal Levy, a federal prosecutor, has also commented on this wire fraud case here.
3. I will be responding to both Kerr and Levy in the days ahead.
Alternative title: Man bites dog!
Why isn’t data fraud a crime? In a working paper I wrote in 2019, I proposed charging researchers who fabricate data with wire fraud. Here is an excerpt from my 2019 paper (edited by me for clarity):
The literature on data fraud and data fabrication views these bad practices through a purely ethical lens …. This paper, by contrast, will explore the possibility of criminal sanctions against academic researchers who fabricate data. My previous work in this domain (Guerra-Pujol, 2017 [available here, by the way]) explored the possibility of imposing various forms of tort and contract liability for data fraud committed by academic researchers. Building on my previous work, I will explore the possibility of criminal liability when a researcher knowingly fabricates research data in a published paper. In a word, the fabrication of data–the attempt to publish fake data, to be more…
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