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Good Scientific Practice

Eine Zusammenstellung von Univ.-Prof. Dr. Achim Gruber

Authorship and Contributorship

Who should be first-, last- or co-author on a scientific publication, including journal articles, posters and web-based presentations? Helpful advice on this common issue is provided by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) at the following link:


Ethical Adjustment and Manipulation of Images

In accordance with the policy and recommendations of major scientific journals in our field, it is strongly suggested to follow specific guidelines when images, including macro- and microphotographs, X-rays, Western-, Southern and Northern Blots as well as comparable images are digitally adjusted.

A helpful discussion including several examples and links to relevant journal policies is available at (Rossner and Yamada, 2004. The Journal of Cell Biology Vol. 166 no. 1, 11-15):



Specific guidelines for ethical adjustment of histological images are available at the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences from Dr. Robert Maronpots laboratory at:


Recommendations for a laboratory note book

Laboratory note books (originals) have to be archived for at least ten years in the lab where the data were generated. Copies may be produced and handed to the person who generated the data at the time when she/he leaves the lab. The note books need to have continuous page numbering and firmly connected pages without the possibility to remove pages without traceability.


Further recommended readings

  1. Mackenzie JM, Burke MG, Carvalho T and Eades A (2006) Ethics and digital imaging. Microsc Today, pp. 40-41 (January 2006).
  2. Editorial (2006) A picture worth a thousand words (of explanation). Nat Methods 3:237.
  3. Rosser M (2006) How to guard against image fraud. The Scientist, pp. 24-25 (March 2006).
  4. Hayden JE (2000) The ethics of digital manipulation in scientific images. J Biocommun 27:11-19.
  5. Couzin J (2006) Don't pretty up that picture just yet. Science 314:1866-1868.
  6. Photoshop: Friend or Fraud? A JBC Editorial (2007)
  7. Digital Imaging: Ethics der University of Arizona