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November 24, 2022

Accounting Professor Who Specialized in Ethics Cheated on Lots of His Papers

Well, this sure looks bad. Last week the American Accounting Association, publisher of the Accounting Review, retracted 25 articles co-authored by James Hunton, a former Bentley University professor. This follows three retractions announced by the Journal of Accounting Research earlier this month. Ouch.

According to Retraction Watch, Dr. Hunton has had 31.5 articles retracted, good enough for #11 on their Retraction Watch leaderboard.

Dr. Dunton left Bentley in 2012 after his first retraction due to "a misstatement." An 2014 investigation by the school found evidence that he " 'fabricated' data in at least two, and perhaps many more, academic papers," and advised all journals to review his work. When AAA got around to asking Hunton's co-authors for info, they learned that they could not provide:

data or other information supporting the existence of primary data, or to confirm that their studies were conducted as described in the published articles. Consistent with the findings in the Bentley University investigation summary, the Association review team found no evidence that Dr. Hunton’s coauthors were aware of or complicit in Dr. Hunton’s actions.

The irony is that Dr. Hunton "was once ranked by his peers among the top accounting researchers in the United States for his research on the ethics and responsibility of corporate auditing," according to the Washington Post.

Neither the Post nor Retraction Watch has been able to locate Dr. Hunton. [cue]

Accounting professor notches 30 (!) retractions after misconduct finding [Retraction Watch]
Citing ‘misconduct,’ accounting journal retracts 25 articles by once-renowned scholar [WaPo]

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