News Release

Editorial: Genuine images in 2024

Reports and Proceedings

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

In an Editorial, Science Journals’ Editor-in-Chief, Holden Thorp, outlines changes to the publication’s editorial policies and practices for 2024, including plans to adopt the use of Proofig – an artificial intelligence-powered image-analysis tool – to detect altered images across all six of the Science family journals. Proofig is a tool that screens images for duplication and other types of manipulations. Although Science has been conducting “human-eye” image checks on some papers, the new tool will enhance Science’s review process and reduce the potential for human error in the process. “Science has been piloting Proofig for several months with clear evidence that problematic figures can be detected prior to publication, so its use will expand to all papers under consideration that present relevant images,” writes Thorp. “This should help identify both honest mistakes and fraudulent activity before a decision is made.” In this Editorial, Thorp outlines how Proofig will be incorporated into Science’s review process and how authors will be notified should problematic issues arise. An accompanying press release introduces Proofig and its use in greater detail. “Through better monitoring for research errors, careful curation of content, and sharing information with policy-makers, we hope to build stronger trust and integrity in science in the coming year,” writes Thorp.

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