Journals Find Fakery in Many Images Submitted to Support Research - Chronicle.com
Kristin Roovers was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania with a bright career ahead of her—a trusted member of a research laboratory at the medical school studying the role of cell growth in diabetes.
But when an editor of The Journal of Clinical Investigation did a spot-check of one of her images for an article in 2005, Roovers’s research proved a little too perfect.
The image had dark bands on it, supposedly showing different proteins in different conditions. “As we looked at it, we realized the person had cut and pasted the exact same bands” over and over again, says Ushma S. Neill, the journal’s executive editor. In some cases a copied part of the image had been flipped or reversed to make it look like a new finding. “The closer we took a look, the more we were convinced that the data had been fabricated or manipulated in order to support the conclusions.”