Publication of a flawed manuscript has significant consequences for the progress of science. When this proves to be intentional, science is brought into disrepute and this puts even more pressure on the shrinking resources that society is prepared to invest in research. All scientific journals, including the Journal of Neurochemistry, have witnessed a marked increase in the number of corrections and retractions of published articles over the last 10 years, and uncovered a depressingly large number of fabrications among submitted manuscripts. The increase in number of ‘spoiled’ manuscripts reflects not only the improved methods that journals employ to detect plagiarism in its many forms but also suggests a measurable change in the behavior of authors. The increased policing of submissions by reviewers, editors, and publishers expends time and money. The sanctions imposed by journal editors on authors found guilty of malpractice are transparent and severe.