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May 12, 2014

The official statement by The EMBO Journal

The Center for iPS Cell Research and Application

The following is the official statement on Figure 3A and Figure 7B in the 2000 paper (Yamanaka et al.) by Dr. Bernd Pulverer, chief editor of The EMBO Journal.  It was delivered by email to Dr. Shinya Yamanaka on May 10.

"We have undertaken a careful image forensic evaluation of the images in the published paper. While the two bands in question (fig 3A) are indeed similar, we see no concrete evidence to suggest that they were duplicated; at the limited resolution of the published data pixel matching is not possible. Furthermore, we see no evidence for any additional image aberrations. The error bars in 7B are similar, but this alone does not constitute evidence that the graph was not based on real data. In our view there is no reason to suggest that illicit image manipulation or data misrepresentation occurred in this paper. While The EMBO Journal now encourages the publication of source data alongside the figures in papers, this is a recent development and would not have been possible in 2000. We are in this case not concerned about the partial availability of primary data and lab notebooks for all the figures, the publication of the paper is well beyond the minimal time limit required for primary data/labbook archiving by many institutions.

Dr. Yamanaka clearly acted in a very thorough and professional manner in obtaining independent reassessment of the data and in addressing the concerns raised with additional supportive data.

It would be most regrettable if any doubt is cast on the findings reported in this paper based on what amounts at best to non-definitive evidence".

Bernd Pulverer, Chief Editor, The EMBO Journal

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