University of Illinois wins second “This Image Is Fine” Award for Melba Toast paper

Remember the Melba Toast image? It was part of a 2005 paper by Surgisphere founder Sapan Desai, published as part of his PhD research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The photos in this paper contain many unexpected repetitive features, both within as well as between the panels. This appeared to be a severe case of photographic editing. So I reported this paper to the journal and the university.

Unfortunately, the University of Illinois just let me know that they will not investigate this case – because it is too old.

Continue reading “University of Illinois wins second “This Image Is Fine” Award for Melba Toast paper”

The Surgisphere Founder and the Melba Toast figure

Surgisphere is a company that specializes in the analysis of clinical data. It provided the large datasets on COVID-19 patients that formed the basis of two papers recently published in The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine, both of which were retracted on June 4th. Suspicions had been raised about the validity of the data, provided by Surgisphere founder Sapan S. Desai (archived ResearchGate page) who was an author on both papers.

But that might not be the only concern about Desai’s work. Here I will discuss a paper from his PhD project at the University of Illinois at Chicago that appears to have some serious image problems.

Continue reading “The Surgisphere Founder and the Melba Toast figure”