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Science council takes on research fraud

Stockholm, Sweden -- The Swedish Research Council says it will take strong action against researchers and scientists who are found to have committed research fraud.

In a release Wednesday, the council said researchers who are guilty of plagiarism, falsification or inventing results face loss of current and future funding.

Any researcher deemed to have deviated from good academic practice or to be academically fraudulent will be barred for up to 10 years from applying for grants from the council, and disbursement of already granted funding will be terminated.

"It is absolutely vital for us to be able to trust that research findings are based on knowledge that the researchers themselves have generated and that can be scientifically verified," Swedish Research Council Director General Par Omling said.

"Cheaters undermine our trust not only in themselves but in all research," he said, "which is why we want to take such a strong stand on the issue.

"Of course, this pertains only to a tiny number of individuals," Omling said. "But with these regulations we nevertheless want to make it perfectly clear how we view research fraud. The tax moneys we allocate to research must not go to individuals who have betrayed our trust."

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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