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1. Digital Images Are Data: And Should Be Treated as Such
The scientific community has become very concerned about inappropriate image manipulation. In journals that check figures after acceptance, 20–25% of the papers contained at least one figure that did not comply with the journal’s instructions to authors. The scientific press continues to report a small, but steady stream of cases of fraudulent image manipulation. Inappropriate image manipulation taints the scientific record, damages trust within science, and degrades science’s reputation with the general public. Scientists can learn from historians and photojournalists, who have provided a number of examples of attempts to alter or misrepresent the historical record. Scientists must remember that digital images are numerically sampled data that represent the state of a specific sample when examined with a specific instrument. These data should be carefully managed. Changes made to the original data need to be tracked like the protocols used for other experimental procedures. To avoid pitfalls, unexpected artifacts, and unintentional misrepresentation of the image data, a number of image processing guidelines are offered.
Affiliation(s): (1) Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center, Arizona Research Labs - Division of Biotechnology, Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tuscon, AZ, USA
Series: Methods in Molecular Biology  |  Volume: 931  |  Pub. Date: Aug-02-2012  |  Page Range: 1-27  |  DOI: 10.1007/978-1-62703-056-4_1
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