Retraction Watch III: Expert Lens

Have written about the disgraceful academic fraud of James Hunton here and here. One person who saw things from the perspective of being an editor of an academic journal is Dr. Steve Salterio, of Queen’s University. He saw matters of data fraud as being fairly obvious, and questioned why some articles remained unretracted. As he pointed out in June of 2015:

Well it is official, almost all of Jim Hunton’s academic record is based on fraud! The [American Accounting Association] today retracted almost every article he published in an AAA journal except for four articles where the co- author had collected the data, normally as part of their dissertation!

I anticipate[Contemporary Accounting Research}, [Journal of Accounting Research}, and others will soon be joining in! By the time it is all over Hunton will make the list of top ten authors retracted according to the numbers at retraction watch!

What is so amazing about all this is how long it has taken. By April 2013 when I left the CAR editorship I was on the verge of issuing notes of concern on all Hunton’s CAR articles! The evidence collection did not take long and the fact pattern was clear! Yet, Two of those articles still have not been retracted or even noted at CAR! I still wonder if it all would not have been swept under the rug given that I am the only person on the record that made an official complaint to Bentley University about this matter in December 2012!

Commenting in relation to when the initial story broke, Salterio points out that faults in the data of one paper were obvious:

But a lot of this is missing the most important point – bad editing and reviewing at [The Accounting Review]. It took CAReditorsteve 11 minutes from the time he learned of the retraction to finding the glaring error in the paper.

“a random sample of 150 offices of a larger international accounting firm located in the USA”???????? Dah, anyone with a sense of the institutional arrangements in the USA would have known that number would be impossible as there are at the most 2-3 office per state on average of large international accounting firms in the USA.

So instead of the question “Where were the directors?” as we often ask about corporate problems what we need to think about is “Where were the editors and reviewers?” in this case.

And since Hunton was one of the journal’s editors…

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About brucelarochelle

Practising Lawyer and Part-Time University Instructor (Accounting, Commercial Law, Organizational Behaviour); Part-Time Federal Tribunal Member. Non-practising Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant).
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