An algorithm that takes just seconds to scan a paper for duplicated images racks up more suspicious images than a person
(3 Oct 2023) Scientific-image sleuth Sholto David blogs about image manipulation in research papers, a pastime that has exposed him to many accounts of scientific fraud. But other scientists “are still a little bit in the dark about the extent of the problem”, David says. He decided he needed some data.
The independent biologist in Pontypridd, UK, spent the best part of several months poring over hundreds of papers in one journal, looking for any with duplicated images. Then he ran the same papers through an artificial-intelligence (AI) tool. Working at two to three times David’s speed, the software found almost all of the 63 suspect papers that he had identified — and 41 that he’d missed. David described the exercise last month in a preprint1, one of the first published comparison of human versus machine for finding doctored images.
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