Update on research misconduct case 

Under McMaster’s Research Integrity Policy, the case of research misconduct involving former faculty member Jonathan Pruitt has been concluded after a thorough investigation and a hearings committee process.

The hearings committee found that Pruitt engaged in data falsification and fabrication in several papers, all of which occurred prior to joining McMaster, when they were a tenured faculty member at different institutions. A copy of the committee’s key findings can be found here.

Pruitt is no longer with McMaster University, and steps have been taken to provide corrections to journals that had published their research.

The Research Integrity Policy is rigorous, and the findings show that the process is effective in determining when the policy has been violated and taking action when a violation occurs.

The university received complaints about some of Pruitt’s research in early 2020. McMaster then retained retired academic and prominent labour arbitrator William Kaplan to investigate the matter.

Throughout the investigation more complaints surfaced that required the university to expand Kaplan’s mandate and required the review of thousands of documents. As well, Kaplan interviewed Pruitt eight times, along with 13 other people, including complainants, co-investigators, and witnesses. The university immediately began its hearing process after receiving Kaplan’s report.

Now that the investigation and hearing are done, the university can release key findings from the process.