Elisabeth Bik, PhD

Elisabeth Bik, PhD
Science Integrity Consultant
San Francisco, California, United States
8:30 a.m. (Part I) and 10:30 a.m. (Part II) 
Friday, March 1, 2024
International Academy of Endodontics, Annual Meeting
The Rosen Plaza Hotel
Orlando, Florida, USA
“Errors and Misconduct in Biomedical Research"
Science builds upon science. Even after peer-review and publication, science papers could still contain images or other data of concern. If not addressed post-publication, papers containing incorrect or even falsified data could lead to wasted time and money spent by other researchers trying to reproduce those results. Several high-profile science misconduct cases have been described, but many more cases remain undetected. Elisabeth Bik is an image forensics detective who left her paid job in industry to search for and report biomedical articles that contain errors or data of concern. She has done a systematic scan of 20,000 papers in 40 journals and found that about 4% of these contained inappropriately duplicated images. In her talk, she will present her work and show several types of inappropriately duplicated images and other examples of errors or research misconduct. In addition, she will show how to report scientific papers of concern, and how journals and institutions handle such allegations.

In the second part of her presentation, she will talk about organized frauds and scams in biomedical research. Paper mills, peer review- and citation rings, authorships-for-sale, fake authors and affiliations, predatory publishers, and scamferences. How can we recognize these, and how will generative artificial intelligence play a role in detecting or supporting these fraudulent groups?
Major Topics:
Part 1:
What is research misconduct and what drives people to do fraudulent science
Things that can be wrong in a paper
Different types of image duplications
Duplication challenges - spot the overlaps!
How prevalent are image duplications in biomedical papers?
How do journals and institutions investigate allegations of misconduct

Part 2:

Artificial intelligence and how it can be a threat to science
Scientific paper mills offer authorship for sale
Different types of paper mills
Peer review rings, citation rings
Fake authors and affilations
Predatory publishers and spamferences
How to deal with the large influx of fake science papers?

Learning Objectives: 
  1. Identify the three different types of image duplications
  2. Recognize problematic papers generated by paper mills
  3. Distinguish predatory publishers and conferences from legit ones
Elisabeth Bik is a member of the following professional groups and organizations:
American Society for Microbiology
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science
About the Presenter: After receiving her PhD in Microbiology at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, Elisabeth Bik worked 15 years at the School of Medicine at Stanford on the oral, gastric, and gut microbiomes of humans and marine mammals. In May 2014, she founded Microbiome Digest, an almost daily compilation of scientific papers in the rapidly growing microbiome field. From 2016-2019, she worked at two microbiome startup companies in San Francisco. Since 2019, she has been a science integrity volunteer and consultant who scans the biomedical literature for duplicated and manipulated images or other data of concern. She has reported over 7,000 scientific papers, and her work resulted in over 1,000 retractions and another 900 corrections. For her work in science communication and exposing research misconduct, she received the 2021 John Maddox Prize.