In DepthSCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY

Duplicated images point to fraud in fish study, critics say

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Science  04 Oct 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6461, pp. 20-21
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6461.20

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Summary

A 2014 Biology Letters paper showing that lionfish use their fins to signal they want to go on a collective hunt has come under suspicion after a whistleblower raised questions about it. Online collection records from the Lizard Island Research Station in Australia, where the study took place, suggest the researchers had far fewer fish at their disposal than would have been needed for the experiments. And a collage of 50 lionfish photos they published in 2018 along with a correction note, apparently as evidence that they had enough fish for the study, has at least three sets of duplicates, according to experts in image manipulation, as well as several photos that aren't identical but appear to show the same fish. The paper's first author previously fabricated data for a 2016 Science paper in a case that had several similarities with the new one.

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