Image manipulation as research misconduct

  • Parrish D
  • Noonan B
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A growing number of research misconduct cases handled by the Office of Research Integrity involve image manipulations. Manipulations may include simple image enhancements, misrepresenting an image as something different from what it is, and altering specific features of an image. Through a study of specific cases, the misconduct findings associated with image manipulation, detection methods and those likely to identify such manipulations, are discussed. This article explores sanctions imposed against guilty researchers and the factors that resulted in no misconduct finding although relevant images clearly were flawed. Although new detection tools are available for universities and journals to detect questionable images, this article explores why these tools have not been embraced.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Image manipulation
  • Misconduct detection
  • Research Misconduct

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  • Debra Parrish

  • Bridget Noonan

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