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We obviously do not encourage scientific fraud nor misconduct. The goal of this article is to alert the reader to problems that have arisen in part due to the Publish or Perish imperative, which has driven a number of researchers to cross the Rubicon without the full appreciation of the consequences. Choosing fraud will hurt science, end careers, and could have impacts on life outside of the lab. If you’re tempted (even slightly) to beautify your results, keep in mind that the benefits are probably not worth the risks.
While most articles in the PLOS ten simple rules collection are centered around best practices, this one has been deliberately written as if we were encouraging people to commit fraud and misconduct (which is not the case as you can easily imagine). However, from our own experience, we find this provocative nature to be a facilitator in having people to feel concerned about this sensitive topic and to think about their own scientific practices. The goal of this manuscript is thus to show that scientific fraud and misconduct do happen and for that purpose, we introduce several recent and actual cases (with many references given).