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University withdraws articles

Professor acts in violation of academic integrity

Erasmus University Rotterdam has decided to withdraw two articles by Professor Smeesters, Professor of Consumer and Society at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University from scientific journals.

The University’s action follows a report from the Inquiry Committee on Scientific Integrity, set up after suspicions arose that the professor had committed scientific errors. The Committee investigated how a large number of publications were established.

Two articles were found to have irregularities with findings that, in a statistical sense, are highly unlikely. The raw data forming the basis of these articles was not available for inspection by third parties, and the professor indicated that he had selected data so that the sought-after effects were statistically significant.
The titles of these two articles are:
- Johnson, C.S., Smeesters, D.H.R.V. & Wheeler, S.C. (2012). Visual perspective influences the use of metacognitive information in temporal comparisons. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
- Smeesters, D.H.R.V. & Liu, J. (2011). The effect of color (red versus blue) on assimilation versus contrast in prime-to-behavior effects. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47(3), 653-656.

This action is in violation of the principles of academic integrity. As a result, Erasmus University is obliged to withdraw from relevant scientific journals the two articles by the professor in question. The University’s Board of Directors accepted at the resignation of Professor Dirk Smeesters on Thursday 21 June 2012.

There is also no reason for the University to doubt the good faith of the other co-authors. The Committee has made recommendations for further measures which ensure an ethical research culture at the University; faculty and the university as a whole will take such recommendations to heart.

The report (English translation of: 'Rapport onderzoekscommissie Wetenschappelijke integriteit') can be found here. As the procedure for the handling of the report is more advanced now, we can publish the attached version of the report. Of importance is that the research method, being previously embargoed by Dr. U. Simonsohn, now may be made public with his permission. Please note that Dr. Simonsohn has changed the title of his paper into: “Finding Fake data: Four True Stories, Some Stats, and a Call for Journals to Post All Data”

See for more information:

Press Office Erasmus University,
tel: (+31) (0)10 408 1216, e-mail: press@remove-this.eur.nl

Publication date: 25 June 2012

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