Science integrity will always remain a work in progress. While peer-review is a necessary first step in safeguarding the quality and integrity of scientific research, the system has been proven to be far from perfect. Elisabeth Bik has pioneered a ‘forensic’ approach to quality control, by painstakingly checking images, mainly in biomedical publications, for duplications and other unacceptable ways of manipulation. She has identified hundreds of papers with serious flaws, resulting in many retractions.
Her criticism of high-profile researchers like Didier Raoult – who claimed hydroxychloroquine cured covid-19 – has made her the target of lawsuit threats and vicious personal attacks on social media. However, she has no intention of backing down in her quest to improve science integrity.