Why is image integrity a problem?
Academic institutions recognize the importance of maintaining the highest standard of image integrity in their scientific publications. However, image issues, such as duplication or manipulation, remain widespread in academic publishing.
It's estimated that about one in three life sciences manuscripts submitted for publication are flagged for some kind of image-related issue. These problems are often unintentionally overlooked because issues are very difficult to spot with the naked eye. As a result, academic institutions are at risk of submitting manuscripts with image inaccuracies.
Many institutional stakeholders experience this challenge. Anyone — from presidents and deans for research and integrity, to heads of department and technology purchasing officers in libraries and resource centers — are all partners in integrity protection.
What are the consequences?
When investigating image integrity errors, we typically find that most turn out to be honest mistakes. While unintentional, failure to identify these breaches prior to submission for publication can severely damage an institution's reputation.
If an article is published with unresolved image issues, it might be identified and highlighted by peers in the academic community, through social media or on platforms like PubPeer.
Reports of issues can lead to very costly investigations and retractions. Misconduct investigations can cost anywhere up to one million dollars. As well as the cost, retractions cause enduring damage, not just to the individual researcher/s, but to the entire institution's reputation. This can significantly impair the researcher or institution’s ability to obtain funding in the future.
How does Proofig AI benefit research institutions?
Proofig AI was created with research teams and institutions in mind. The technology arose out of a deep understanding of the need for accuracy in scientific publication and a great motivation to support institutions in showcasing their highest quality of research.
Proofig AI is the ultimate smart solution that:
Seamlessly integrates into a researcher’s existing pre-submission process to automate image checks
Identifies every subimage and flags any potential errors so that researchers and institutions can prevent the damage of their inclusion in the submitted manuscript
Supports the manuscript submission protocol for researchers, departments and entire institutions prior to submission, preventing the risk of mistakes and potential manuscript rejection.
Researchers and their institutions benefit from:
Automatic analysis of a large number of images in a manuscript, providing reports in minutes
Considerable time and effort savings for research teams and departments by minimizing the risk of post-publication critiques
All results are fully confidential — the system operates on a private, secure server
How does it work?
Proofig AI extracts images from papers and uses AI to compare each image to itself and to the rest of the images.
The tool will detect any form of image duplication or other anomalies, producing a report in minutes. It also compares each flipped image with the other images in the uploaded files.
Researchers can check their manuscript, confidentially and automatically, in three simple steps:
Upload the PDF manuscript and submit it for sub-image detection. The system leverages AI to analyze the manuscript and mark all sub-images within the figures.
Check the detected sub-images and validate the results, then submit the manuscript for integrity detection.
Review any suspected issues flagged by Proofig AI and add only relevant findings to the final report. The system processes the selections and produces a report in minutes. The report includes both a page view of the suspected issue and a detailed view of each confirmed issue.
Who we work with
Proofig AI offers significant value to Presidents of research institutions, Deans overseeing research and integrity, Heads of Life Sciences departments and personnel managing technological acquisitions for scientists in these institutions.
Our service equips them with a comprehensive layer of protection for both their scientists and the institution itself, guaranteeing adherence to the highest publication standards through superior quality control measures.
Proofig has been quoted in Nature and by COPE as a leader in the field of image integrity and image duplication detection.
Contact us to create a tailor made package for your institution.
"Significant damage is caused by image duplication even when they are innocent mistakes. Therefore, I'm happy to provide my department with the peace of mind that comes with knowing our manuscripts' images have been properly verified pre-publication using Proofig, and only manuscripts with no mistakes will follow for publication".
Professor Ofer Mandelboim
Head of the Department of Immunology and Cancer Research
Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine, Israel