The ALLEA code defines falsification as “manipulating research materials, equipment or processes or changing, omitting or suppressing data or results without justification” (ALLEA, 2017, p.8). Again this has the same critical consequences as fabrication, namely waste of resources and time and possible harm to the public (Steneck, 2006).
The difference with fabrication is that falsification can be rather subtle and that falsification has derivatives which are not as severe as the main definition of falsification, but still influence the results of research.
So on a scale between misconduct and common practice, fabrication is on the clear misconduct side, we see that falsification is mainly misconduct, but that it’s derivatives are sometimes in a grey area (Fanelli, 2009).
One derivative of falsification is ‘mining’. This entails the gathering of a large data set to extract significant relations. Of course, in research one often looks for significant relations between various factors, but essential here is the opportunistic aspect, the fishing (Fanelli, 2009).
Another derivative is result selection, where one only publishes the results that support your hypothesis. Although this only reflects on data, one can also make a parallel with references, that is, that one only uses sources that are consistent with your hypothesis (ALLEA, 2017).