Proofig AI imaging-checking software upgrade

Friday, 10 November, 2023 | Supplied by: Proofig

To help editors and institutions proactively check the integrity of scientific images before publication, the founders of AI-enabled image-checking tool Proofig AI have released a system upgrade that can identify potential instances of splicing in western band images and provide users with the tools to investigate.

The main reason for creating Proofig AI was to provide the scientific research community with a tool to proactively check image integrity before publication, reducing the risk of investigations and retractions. Until now, the software predominantly checked the images in a manuscript for several kinds of duplications, including full duplication, partial duplication, rotation, flipping, cloning, scaling and more. Now, it harnesses AI-powered splice detection for western blot integrity checks.

The software now scans a manuscript and its subimages, flagging potential instances of image duplications and of splicing in western blots, a prevalent form of image alteration. Papers often contain hundreds of subimages, and many are difficult to differentiate — especially western blots — so thoroughly checking images manually can be time-consuming and inaccurate. Using AI to focus on potential alterations that are difficult to detect by eye should therefore offer an improvement both in time and accuracy.

After receiving the results, the reviewer can then investigate flagged images more thoroughly using the software’s enhanced visualisation tools, applying filters to emphasise details that may indicate alteration. The user can then determine how to proceed, seeking clarification from the researcher if necessary.

Online: Proofig
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