Journal Cleans Up Image Archives

Molecular and Cellular Biology has found numerous errors after launching a retrospective sweep of the figures it’s published in recent years.

“The volume of errors “is significant,” he adds. “It’s more than we anticipated.” Davis says the rate is likely similar to what others reported last year when they plumbed 20,000 papers across 40 journals looking for duplications and found 3.8 percent contained copied-and-pasted images.

Rebecca Alvania, the executive editor of the Journal of Cell Biology, says duplications are some of the most challenging errors to find because she’s not aware of any efficient software that can detect them. “It’s mostly a manual process.” Indeed, the “sweat equity” of manually picking through papers is high, says Davis, “but the results of having a clean journal is worth whatever the cost.” ”


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