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The authors propose that sequence identity errors could represent a particular hallmark of research fraud, and could be applied to identify fraudulent papers and manuscripts."Our hope is that tools like Seek & Blastn will prospectively deter publications that describe incorrect nucleotide sequence reagents and may flag existing publications so that their conclusions can be re-evaluated," said Professor Byrne., Professor Byrne and colleague Dr Cyril Labbé of the University of Grenoble Alpes (France) detail 'Seek & Blastn', the fact-checking computer program they have developed and made freely available to researchers.
You use them to discover your experimental results.
"That's quite a lot of wrong sequences in a small group of papers and there will be many more out there, unfortunately, given that nucleotide sequence reagents have been described in literally hundreds of thousands of biomedical publications," said Professor Byrne.
The researchers found that errors represented both identity errors (sequences which were completely incorrect) and typographic errors (sequences that contained the equivalent of spelling mistakes).
Doing an experiment with wrong reagents either means that you cook something different from what you thought you were cooking, or what you cook is a failure," said Byrne, Professor of Medical Oncology in the Sydney Medical School.
"Unfortunately with experiments, failures are not always as obvious as they are in the kitchen.