Using a Rumor Site to Investigate Scientific Fraud

by: Ben Lyons | Poynter

The first whispers of fraud in the LaCour gay-marriage persuasion study were voiced on an underground rumor site for political scientists, almost six months before the academic scandal broke nationally.


The site —, or PSR — is one of a growing number of gossip communities that may provide leads for enterprising reporters. Visiting such a site might be compared to turning over a rock to see the bugs underneath. It’s not necessarily the ideal source for a story about scientific ethics, but valuable if mined correctly.

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