Not much research has been done on scientific fraud, and despite some recent high-profile retractions (see the latest kerfuffle regarding XMRV), nobody really knows if fraud is getting more prevalent or if journals and colleagues are just better at catching it. Hopefully we'll see more scholarship in this area. At the end of an earlier paper on the subject, Casadevall and Fang muse on the reasons why fraud happens: "It is not difficult to surmise the underlying causes of research misconduct. Misconduct represents the dark side of the hypercompetitive environment of contemporary science with its emphasis on funding, numbers of publications and impact factor. With such potent incentives for cheating, it is not surprising that some scientists succumb to temptation." With any luck, this kind of finding will spur journals, universities and grant agencies to review their internal processes to try to prevent misconduct or stop a fraudulent study from ever seeing the light of day.