How to Cover Academic Research Fraud and Errors

November 30, 2023
12:00 P.M. ET
This event is hosted by The Journalist’s Resource. The Journalist's Resource is a project of the Shorenstein Center aimed at bridging the gap between journalism and academia. Its primary goal is helping journalists improve their work by relying more often on scientific evidence and high-quality, peer-reviewed research.


In recent years, academic journals have retracted several thousand research papers, often because of ethics violations or fraud. Although retractions represent a very tiny fraction of all academic papers published, bad research can have big impacts. Some studies involve new drugs and medical interventions, for example, and government leaders create policies based on scientific findings in areas such as crime, education, road safety, pollution and economic development.

In this one-hour webinar, journalists will learn what constitutes research misconduct and why more newsrooms need to cover it. They’ll also get practical tips and resources to help them:

  • Recognize and look for evidence of research misconduct.
  • Identify patterns of problems among researchers at specific colleges, universities and research organizations.
  • Find experts to help them vet allegations of fraud and other misconduct.
  • Put allegations into context.
  • Make effective public records requests.
  • Protect themselves and their news outlets against lawsuits.

The event is free and open to everyone. Registration is required. Denise-Marie Ordway, managing editor of The Journalist’s Resource, will moderate.


Ivan Oransky, editor in chief of The Transmitter and a distinguished journalist in residence at New York University’s Carter Journalism Institute, where he teaches medical journalism. He’s also co-founder of Retraction Watch, which tracks scientific retractions globally.

Elisabeth Bik, a microbiologist and world-renowned science integrity consultant. As of November 2023, her work has resulted in 1,069 retractions and 1,008 corrections, according to her blog, Science Integrity Digest.

Jodi S. Cohen, a national award-winning reporter at ProPublica whose investigation, “The $3 Million Research Breakdown,” exposed misconduct in a psychiatric research study at the University of Illinois at Chicago.