Release Date:  December 4, 2001

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-02-016

Department of Health and Human Services

Notice is hereby given that the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has made a 
final finding of scientific misconduct in the following case:

Notice is hereby given that the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and the 
Assistant Secretary for Health have taken final action in the following case:

Jason Elster, Saint Louis University:  Based on the report of an investigation 
conducted by Saint Louis University, Mr. Elster's admission, and additional 
analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, the U.S. Public Health 
Service (PHS) found that Mr. Elster, former undergraduate research assistant, 
School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, engaged in scientific 
misconduct by falsifying or fabricating data in at least eight of the 125 
questionnaires he collected with support from Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention cooperative agreement U48 CCU710806, "Rural Chronic Disease 
Prevention Center."

Specifically, the objective of the questionnaire was to assess the extent of 
media exposure by the community and opinions regarding local media coverage of 
health issues as well as to determine baseline health-related behavior.  The 
intent of the study was to use this information in developing effective 
strategies for delivering information on disease prevention to the public.  No 
publications were affected, but because of the removal of Mr. Elster's 125 
questionnaires from the study, interviews with 125 new participants were 
required to achieve the sample size needed to have sufficient statistical 

Mr. Elster has entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement (Agreement) with 
PHS in which he has voluntarily agreed for a period of three (3) years, 
beginning on November 13, 2001:

(1)  to exclude himself from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS, 
including but not limited to service on any PHS advisory committee, board, 
and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant; and

(2)  that any institution that submits an application for PHS support for a 
research project on which his participation is proposed or that uses him in 
any capacity on PHS supported research, or that submits a report of PHS-funded 
research in which he is involved, must concurrently submit a plan for 
supervision of his duties to the funding agency for approval.  The supervisory 
plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of Mr. Elster's 
research contribution.  The institution must also submit a copy of the 
supervisory plan to ORI.


For further information contact:

Division of Investigative Oversight
Office of Research Integrity
5515 Security Lane, Suite 700
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  (301) 443-5330

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