University newspaper Mare wrote an article on this yesterday. Following an earlier incriminating investigation in 2019, the Leiden University Academic Integrity Committee (CWI) looked at 53 (anonymised) publications by Colzato. It found evidence of ‘manipulation’ of research results in 15 cases.

Control group

This includes adding a control group retroactively and leaving out data without mentioning the fact. As an example, in one of the publications, details of 49 test subjects were left out because they ‘did not give the expected result’.

According to Mare, previous studies showed that Colzato had also tampered with two research proposals that she submitted to funding body the Dutch Research Council. In those proposals she presented as provisional results the outcome of research that had never been carried out.

Withdrawal of publications

Leiden University is informing the Dutch Research Council of the dubious grant applications. Publishers of journals in which seven of the articles appeared are being asked to withdraw those publications because it is likely that the conclusions in the articles are incorrect.

According to the CWI, the report has been presented to Colzato but in her response she put forward ‘no substantive arguments’ to refute the findings. The Italian-born academic left Leiden University in 2017.