One of the preeminent "peer-reviewed" science journals published a faked study five months ago, and it was demolished last week in a matter of days.
“When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality” (Science, December 2014).
It's critical to note how quickly this has all come down. In the day-and-a-half since this story broke, it has become clear that LaCour likely faked the data used in the study. Retractions are rare and usually take more than five months to be discovered.
The unraveling happened only because three folks at Stanford took an interest in the published study and examined the data - data which they determined had been lifted from an archive for an unrelated study. Once they made their findings public, the paper was retracted.
By 7:09 am, Oransky had a post up on Retraction Watch. It chronicled how a team of three researchers determined that all of LaCour's unbelievable data was likely just that. The post also told the details of Green, a professor at Columbia, confronting his junior coauthor Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA.
LaCour basically claimed that his dog ate the original data, according to the Retraction Watch post (by the way, you might bookmark the site, which is funded by the McArthur Foundation; it's a pretty good resource for checking the validity of "peer-reviewed Science").
This turnaround stands out because it happened so quickly; many fakes go undetected for years.