Alleged manipulation of scientific images: dismissal of enquiry

With reference to the dismissal of the enquiry carried out by the Milan Attorney (“Procura” in Italian) on the alleged manipulation of images in scientific publications, AIRC once again confirms its commitment to the integrity and honesty of research, consistent with its mission and the values that have made the Foundation a model of rigor, merit and transparency.

The enquiry was dismissed by the judge for preliminary investigations (“GIP”, in short, in Italian) "because the crime report was unsubstantiated". Therefore the indicted researchers have been relieved by the accusation of scientific misconduct. AIRC contributed to the enquiry by providing the requested documentation to the law enforcement officials in charge of the enquiry.

Also, in compliance with its own policy on research integrity, AIRC asked the indicted researchers and their institutions to clarify their position in regard to the enquiry. In response to such a request, AIRC has received justifications and counter-arguments in regard to the contested publications. By the way, none of the articles have been retracted yet.

AIRC continues to support the progress of oncological research by funding projects of high scientific value, selected in the absence of conflict of interest through the international method of peer review: each proposal is evaluated by at least three independent reviewers, chosen among the world's leading experts in oncology.

The evaluation of the funding requests is entrusted to more than 600 international reviewers and to 28 members of the AIRC Technical Scientific Committee (CTS), who have the task of selecting the most meritorious projects and evaluating the results over time.

The policy on research integrity is published on the AIRC website and is communicated to the recipients of funding. It complies with the guidelines of the European Science Foundation, the European Union reference body in the field of research ethics, and it binds the funded researchers and their instituions to adhering to the rules and principles of good scientific conduct.