View Full Version : I'm making figures!

29-04-2005, 13:31:26
My boss has got me making figures for a paper

I've told him we dont have any data and that the whole experimental technique is bollocks but he's got me making them anyway

He says just to put in the data I expect to get so we can see what experiements we need to do.

what I need to do is resign.

How stupid.

29-04-2005, 13:33:32

That's how I did lab work at uni when I couldn't be bothered to stay in the lab all afternoon.

29-04-2005, 13:33:38
What ? Female figures ?

You working for The Sun ?

29-04-2005, 13:48:22
He should read up on that guy at Bell Labs that got caught publishing with the same data for entirely different experiments. http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0719/p01s01-usgn.html

<preaching to the choir>, If you know what data to expect, why do the experiment at all? Go where the data takes you. Don't try to make the data take you where you want to go. </preaching to the choir> - when I was in school there were a couple of professors that had to be constantly reined in by their own students or postdocs, and one student alone didn't stand a chance of winning that argument.

So many investigators do that, and they set themselves up to get burned when they find out they've built an entire grant on a house of cards.

29-04-2005, 13:53:11
Jep, you get caught doing that and you'll have a hard time getting a job, anywhere.

Poor Beta, what a jerk boss

29-04-2005, 13:54:56
It's not really funny... but in a way it is.

And yes, you should resign... or refuse to do it.

Can he fire you for refusing to make figures up? Be a tough one.

29-04-2005, 14:02:38
It happens a lot - in my experiences it was the result of an overenthusiastic boss rather than a dishonest one.
I'd expect him to come around if it was pointed out.

Sometimes they want things to be true so badly that they deceive themselves and will disregard evidence to the contrary. They'll even tell you to repeat things ad nauseam, and when you get the same result 19 times out of 20 attempts, they'll only believe the odd result.

You could just mock up the figure as a text box or text table with the statement of the method and expected/hypothetical result. It'll shut him up and there's no real data there.

29-04-2005, 15:08:40
Originally posted by Beta1
He says just to put in the data I expect to get so we can see what experiements we need to do.

he's thinking ahead!
does he have pointy hairs?

29-04-2005, 15:19:35
My überboss actually requested me once:

"those damn outsourcers are trying to fool us again, it's really got me fuming!
We must corner them with something, at next Service Review Meeting.... :mumble: can't you come up with something, some overwhelming figure, some smug graph and chart, like you did last time?"
"... ... ...but... last time we jumped in on a reported problem, there's no gauge actually out of order right now on the flashboard!..."
":grunt: well, you know the contract, dive in it and FIND some problem, some fault we can use against them. And if you can't find it, MAKE IT UP"

:rolleyes: :(

I was on the verge of raising white flag, when graciously the outsourcer provided a new genuine blunder themselves :D

29-04-2005, 15:24:13
You're what whatting the what now?! That's outrageous!

Fergus & The Brazen Car
29-04-2005, 15:29:32
I'm making plans for Nigel.

29-04-2005, 15:34:27
Originally posted by Funko

That's how I did lab work at uni when I couldn't be bothered to stay in the lab all afternoon.

That's funny I did the same thing. Teacher couldn't usually tell either.

29-04-2005, 15:42:42
I passed an entire class making things up in college. Professor sucked.

29-04-2005, 15:46:18
Making up realistic results is a skill.

You need to know enough to know why the experiment could cock up, build in errors etc.

Access to a student from the previous years notes is a bonus.

29-04-2005, 15:48:36
I will never admit that I did anything like that. Okay well yeah. But only when I did the experiment and messed it up (Like dropping a flask full of mycobacteria. Hehe)

29-04-2005, 15:49:49
on your pizza?

29-04-2005, 15:55:15
Those were the dark days before I discovered pizza.

29-04-2005, 16:00:29
before pizza???

there was food before pizza???

29-04-2005, 16:01:42
no he fed on mycobacteria until they disclosed him the existence of pizza

29-04-2005, 16:04:24
Insist you get in writing off him the reason for using spurious data.

I don't see why you should take the blame for someone else's crap decision.

29-04-2005, 17:29:49
its not intended for publication - he wants to use it as a "framework" so we can put in the real data when we get the experiments done. That said that is still deciding what the results are going to be first how ever you look at it.

I've made them up with "This data is a place holder" stamped all over the offending bits. :)

Just as well I'm getting out of here soon (asuming that PGCE application goes through)