Outcome of initial inquiry into concerns raised about 2014 paper

17 December 2019
Today Professor Duncan Ivison released the outcome of an initial inquiry into concerns raised about a 2014 paper; no breaches or research misconduct were found and the analyses and conclusions were found to be acceptable.

The University has recently completed an initial inquiry into allegations made by Mr Rory Robertson in respect of research carried out by Professor Stephen Simpson and other University researchers based at the Charles Perkins Centre. The allegations relate to a paper titled ‘The ratio of macronutrients, not caloric intake, dictates cardiometabolic health, aging and longevity in ad libitum fed mice’, published in 2014 in Cell Metabolism.

The initial inquiry found no breaches of the Research Code of Conduct and no research misconduct on the part of Professor Simpson and his colleagues. A summary of the initial inquiry process, which included a review and recommendation by an independent expert, and the findings and recommendations is available here.

The inquiry was conducted in accordance with the University’s Research Code of Conduct, which incorporates the requirements of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and holds the University’s researchers to the highest standards of integrity and research practice. An initial inquiry in these circumstances is not an investigation of fraud, as Mr Robertson has been claiming.   

In addition to the researchers’ statistical analyses and conclusions being found to be acceptable through the University’s initial inquiry, the paper was evaluated through the journal’s peer review process prior to publication and in an extra independent review conducted by the journal in June in response to Mr Robertson’s complaint. The University is satisfied that there is no basis for any of the matters raised by Mr Robertson to be investigated further.