3 September 2013

Statement from The University of Queensland President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj

The University of Queensland (UQ) is investigating events that have led to the retraction of a paper published in an academic journal.

As a result of its investigation to date, UQ has asked the journal that published the paper to retract it on the grounds that: “no primary data can be located, and no evidence has been found that the study described in the article was conducted.”

A former UQ staff member from the Centre for Neurogenic Communication Disorders Research was corresponding author on the paper.

Published online in October 2011 in the European Journal of Neurology, the paper was titled Treatment of articulatory dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.

The journal has agreed to the retraction.

UQ’s ongoing investigation is in line with its Research Misconduct Policy and Procedures, and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. The Code was developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia.

UQ has informed the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) of the allegations, and will receive further advice from the CMC once it has received the inquiry panel’s final report.

UQ has returned a $20,000 grant from a non-government organisation, due to our concerns it had been allocated on the basis of information from the discredited paper.

There was no National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding relevant to the paper, but UQ has taken the measure of advising the NHMRC of the progress of the investigation.

UQ researchers contribute to more than 6000 published refereed papers annually.

UQ places the highest importance on upholding the integrity of our research and will not only continue to do so with vigilance but will seek to identify further measures to strengthen that endeavour.

By having the paper retracted, the University enables the global scientific community to learn that the research reported in the paper has no place in the body of scientific knowledge, and so cannot be used as a basis for further research.

Media contact: Corporate Relations Manager Carolyn Varley, T: 3365 1120, M: 0413 601 248, c.varley@uq.edu.au.