A number of events are worthy of a post, but the most urgent to bring to my readers’ attention is a development at Nature Materials. They have issued a correction to the 2008 paper by Francesco Stellacci, Nature Materials 7, 588 – 595 (2008). Thanks to Pep (despite stating he would no longer comment on this blog) for pointing this out in a comment on my blog entitled “Responses-to-evidence-of-self-plagiarism“. I have raised the issue of data re-use multiple times (no pun intended!) including these posts:
Well over the line: an update
For those who don’t feel like clicking through the links, the text of the correction at Nature Materials is:
” * In the version of this Article originally published, in the caption for Fig. 1 the following statement should have been included “Right-hand STM image in panel a reproduced with permission from ref. 30, © 2008 RSC.” This error has been corrected in the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.”
Self-plagiarism is perhaps not the best term: data re-use may be a better descriptor, hence the change of tack in my title. I still wonder what the referees’ reaction to a fully attributed figure might have been? In my limited experience, if a figure in the main body of a manuscript is attributed correctly to a previous paper, reviewers tend to be pretty hard and one receives comments along these lines: “don’t you have another image, and if not, why not”. Which is reasonable, since one will have multiple replicates, both technical and on different preparations.
Anyway, this is just idle speculation from someone who is meant to be painting a bedroom – displacement activity or procrastination, depending on your viewpoint.
I am sure with such positive development from NPG that Philip Moriarty will receive very soon the raw data he has repeatedly requested from Francesco Stellacci.