WUR start investigation into foreign affiliations

Published on
May 6, 2023

Saturday 6 May, Dutch newspaper Volkskrant published a story about Saudi universities trying to persuade highly cited scientists to unjustly change their first affiliation in exchange for research funding. It also happens they request a second affiliation to a publication while no research has been carried out at that university by a WUR scientist.

These universities are trying to achieve a rapid rise in international rankings, in which citations are an important factor. The Shanghai Ranking is an example of such a ranking.

The same Volkskrant article mentions the name of a WUR colleague and a KNAW colleague. Rector magnificus Arthur Mol does not yet want to comment substantively, but says he has started an investigation: “It is important to first clarify what exactly happened. As long as that investigation is ongoing, we will not make any substantive announcements. At the same time, we are an institution where scientific integrity is of the utmost importance. If it turns out that colleagues have indeed changed their primary affiliation, we will distance ourselves from that.”