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Journal of Biomedical Optics


Thayer School of Engineering


Optics has consistently been the largest singular technology sector used in medicine, and major advances in biomedical optics are documented daily in peer-reviewed publications. However, the academic stature of this field can be damaged by weaknesses in scientific publishing, where a “credibility crisis” has emerged as a popularized and increasingly studied dialogue. While there are still relatively few overt cases of fraud or erroneous research, more insidious aspects are seen in papers with results that have either low statistical power, selective reporting of observations, or data or computer codes that cannot be independently verified. Interestingly, the same solutions that improve scientific publishing quality and credibility can also be effective tools to foster growth of individual scientists. The solution for our biomedical optics community is to ensure that researchers allow and promote reproduction of results, effectively provide access to original data and computer codes, and stay actively involved in translating their results into practice. Along the way, researchers should benefit from transdisciplinary collaborations and mentoring networks of colleagues, involving both medical and commercial expertise. Publishing more impactful publications makes the entire field more impactful, through a sequence of quality measures and a focus on translation to improve industry and medicine.