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U of Delaware Finds Scientist Committed Research Misconduct

August 10, 2022

The University of Delaware found Danielle Dixson, associate professor of marine science and policy, responsible for falsifying and fabricating work on fish behavior in coral reefs, according to Science. The university is reportedly seeking the retraction of three of Dixson's papers and has notified federal funding agencies. Science previously published a note of concern about one of those papers, from 2014, and formally retracted it on Tuesday. The university committee that reviewed Dixson's work on how rising carbon dioxide levels affect fish behavior and ecology reportedly wrote in its report that it was "struck by a serial pattern of sloppiness, poor recordkeeping, copying and pasting within spreadsheets, errors within many papers under investigation, and deviation from established animal ethics protocols." Dixson did not respond to requests for comment. Her lawyer, Kristina Larsen, told Science that Dixson "adamantly denies any and all allegations of wrongdoing, and will vigorously appeal any finding of research misconduct."

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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