In a nutshell: the phrase "pull/ed/ing a PACE" could be used whenever spin or subtle deception is implicated (but not necessarily outright fraud or criminal behaviour). Attention has been drawn recently to research misconduct in the UK (http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e14). It is my understanding that for many people within the ME and CFS communities, the subject of questionable research practices reminds them of the flawed psychological-behavioural CFS studies and a recent example would be the PACE Trial which was arguably "too big to fail". Flawed research is not necessarily the same as "misconduct" per se, and PACE did not appear to commit fraud in the sense of fabricating data. However, perhaps there is a grey area between spin and questionable practices, and a range of methodological concerns with suspicious context have also been raised about the PACE Trial. This post isn't intended to be a proper summary of such problems with the PACE Trial, but I will put some related information in an additional post. Technically speaking, "pull/ed/ing a PACE" would be to change goalposts/definitions and spin doctor a disappointing situation or mediocre result in such a way that people end up praising it at face value and dismissing critics out of hand. More generally it is for use whenever spin and/or deception is implicated but not necessarily outright fraud or criminal behaviour. I guess it could be similar to "pull a swift one" as PACE was even fast tracked in the Lancet. Guilt by association is a common tactic of the biopsychosocialists and similar minded journalists when describing the characteristics of CFS patients, so therefore even though I do not personally believe PACE are guilty of outright fraud in the traditional sense, as a critic I'm certainly not losing sleep over seeing PACE being associated with fraud (what goes around comes around?). Apparently "pulling a PACE" isn't that uncommon in UK research then, eh Fiona Godlee of the BMJ editorial on the subject? And in coverage of that editorial (www.ft.com/cms/s/2/bc6f7204-3d1f-11e1-8129-00144feabdc0.html) there are some amusing statements: Yes, that's why you need a senior editor like Richard Horton on your side! Hmmm, that may explain a lot about CFS research in the UK! How do other people feel about this? What degree of questionable behaviour are PACE guilty of? Do you have more good examples of anyone "pulling a PACE" (doesn't have to be ME or CFS related)? The failed FINE Trial provides more inspiration. The paper itself and accompanying editorial almost gives the impression that FINE did OK and would have been better if the patients just received more attention from better qualified therapists and that more research is needed. The phrase "pull/ed/ing a FINE" would mean pretending that you didn't just fail bigtime. Changing trial methodology (bimodal to Likert) to squeeze out a result also comes to mind. It was a failure and we don't need more research or spin or excuses to cover up this failure, it is time for these people to move on and make room for different research directions which have been suffocated under the cognitive behavioural paradigm of CFS.