(Photo illustration by The Washington Post, Source: iStock)

One of the nation’s premier academic journals of accounting has retracted 25 articles co-authored by a once-renowned professor who specialized in corporate ethics but was later accused of “fabricating” data.

The American Association of Accounting, which publishes the Accounting Review, issued the retractions last week based on a “pattern of misconduct” by James E. Hunton, who resigned from his position at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., a business school with nearly 6,000 graduate and undergraduate students.

The retractions, first reported by Retraction Watch, came as no surprise.

Hunton left Bentley University as the school was investigating reports that led it to conclude that he “fabricated” data in at least two, and perhaps many more, academic papers. The university advised all publications for which Hunton had written to review his work that involved research data.

Based on such a review, the AAA cited the inability of Hunton or his co-authors “to 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.” The Association “found no evidence that Dr. Hunton’s coauthors were aware of or complicit in Dr. Hunton’s actions.”

Hunton has made no public comment on the allegations against him. Neither The Post nor Retraction Watch has been able to locate him now or last year when The Post, the Boston Globe and other news outlets wrote about the results of Bentley’s investigation of Hunton.

[Academia’s seamier side: Lying, cheating and fraud]

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.

Most of the retracted articles, published between 1996 and 2013,  concerned corporate auditing practices.

Retraction Watch, which monitors scholarly publications for fraud, said Hunton has now had 31 retractions in all, “making him the newest addition to the Retraction Watch leaderboard.” 

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h/t Retraction Watch