The resignation comes at a time of escalating scrutiny and self-policing across the sciences. Retractions in academic journals are at a historic high. Some experts argue that the heightened sensitivity to misconduct is a long-overdue corrective; others say it has gone too far, creating a culture of suspicion in which even the hint of misconduct can sometimes end a scientist’s career.
The dispute between Dartmouth and Dr. Welch, first reported by STAT News and Retraction Watch, revolves around a figure in a 2016 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, on screening and over-diagnosis of breast cancer. In the paper, Dr. Welch included a figure, a graph, that is similar to one presented in 2015 by a Dartmouth colleague, Samir Soneji.
Misappropriation of figures has become an increasingly frequent charge leveled against scientific authors, in part because of new digital tools that flag copied text and graphs.
The Dartmouth investigating committee concluded that the figure in this case was reproduced without proper attribution.
In a timeline he sent to the Times, he acknowledged that he reviewed Dr. Soneji’s graphic figure before publishing the New England Journal article. He said he made adjustments to the graph based on his own analysis of the underlying data, so the graphs look similar but are not identical.
Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/health/welch-plagiarism-cancer-dartmouth.html249