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Plagiarism Sleuths

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Science  22 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5930, pp. 1004-1007
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_1004

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Déjà vu, an online database that bills itself as "a study of scientific publication ethics," has prompted discussions with journal editors and at least 48 retractions of suspicious papers. Some journals now run accepted papers through eTBLAST, the freely available software behind the database, to hunt for duplications prior to publication. Some senior faculty members contacted by Science say they would consider using Déjà vu to help guide hiring, promotion, and publication decisions. But how reliable is Déjà vu, and what do its developers hope to accomplish?