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Just post it: the lesson from two cases of fabricated data detected by statistics alone.

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      Abstract

      I argue that requiring authors to post the raw data supporting their published results has the benefit, among many others, of making fraud much less likely to go undetected. I illustrate this point by describing two cases of suspected fraud I identified exclusively through statistical analysis of reported means and standard deviations. Analyses of the raw data behind these published results provided invaluable confirmation of the initial suspicions, ruling out benign explanations (e.g., reporting errors, unusual distributions), identifying additional signs of fabrication, and also ruling out one of the suspected fraud's explanations for his anomalous results. If journals, granting agencies, universities, or other entities overseeing research promoted or required data posting, it seems inevitable that fraud would be reduced.

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          Belief in the law of small numbers.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
            Journal
            Psychol Sci
            Psychological science
            SAGE Publications
            1467-9280
            0956-7976
            Oct 2013
            : 24
            : 10
            23982243 0956797613480366 10.1177/0956797613480366

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