Image Duplication: It’s not ok. It’s not ok. It’s not ok. It’s not ok.

July 11, 2018. R.T. Thomason, Ph.D.

My wonderful editor, Jennifer, passed along this article to me – regarding image doctoring (including duplication, inappropriate manipulations, reproduced panels, just to name a few):


According to the experts’ estimates, there could be somewhere around 35,000 papers that need to be retracted from 2009-2016. That’s pretty incredible… and disheartening. One type of image doctoring I have personally noticed in manuscripts are the “duplication of the exact same panel (e.g., a Western blot strip or a photo of cells) within the same paper, but that represented different experiments.” I believe scientists do this because they did not run the proper controls for each experiment. But, that doesn’t make it okay.


Next time, in our longer blog, we’ll dive a little deeper into image doctoring and manuscript retraction.