An independent investigation committee has found four scientists at the elite University of Göttingen, Germany, guilty of gross negligence because they included three unfinished manuscripts in publication lists supporting an application for research funding. But the researchers did not invent or falsify data, the committee says.

The application was for the continuation of a collaborative research centre (SFB): a highly prized award funded by the DFG, Germany's major national research agency. The collaboration was set up to study the stability of the Indonesian rainforest and had received €16.6 million (US$22.3 million) from 2000 to June 2009 (see Nature 459, 23; 2009).

Investigations by the university and local public prosecutors into possible financial irregularities continue.