Misconduct Called Out on YouTube

A 6-minute video posted on YouTube documents more than 60 alleged cases of image manipulation from 24 papers by a single researcher.

Jan 26, 2012
Hannah Waters


In the latest instance of the scientific process taking place over the internet, an anonymous internet-user has made a YouTube video exhibiting more than 60 purportedly manipulated images from 24 papers, complete with background music.

The whistleblower, who told ScienceInsider that he works in the life sciences and goes by the handle “Juuichi Jigen,” has created websites documenting misconduct by half a dozen Japanese researchers. And his efforts have paid off before. One University of Tokyo scientist called out by Jigen was found guilty of plagiarism and resigned from his post in 2010; another had several papers retracted.

The latest case focuses on work led by molecular endocrinologist Shigeaki Kato from the University of Tokyo. In the video, the images are presented as a series of slides, with arrows pointing out the altered sections. Jigen has contacted the university, and a spokesperson told ScienceInsider that "the university is conducting preliminary investigations,” including looking into two papers that the group retracted last summer.

Jigen has posted more details at his website dedicated to the potential case of research misconduct.