Analysis: Flawed Datasets of Monkeypox Skin Images

Carlos Vega*, Reinhard Schneider, Venkata Satagopam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The self-proclaimed first publicly available dataset of Monkeypox skin images consists of medically irrelevant images extracted from Google and photography repositories through a process denominated web-scrapping. Yet, this did not stop other researchers from employing it to build Machine Learning (ML) solutions aimed at computer-aided diagnosis of Monkeypox and other viral infections presenting skin lesions. Neither did it stop the reviewers or editors from publishing these subsequent works in peer-reviewed journals. Several of these works claimed extraordinary performance in the classification of Monkeypox, Chickenpox and Measles, employing ML and the aforementioned dataset. In this work, we analyse the initiator work that has catalysed the development of several ML solutions, and whose popularity is continuing to grow. Further, we provide a rebuttal experiment that showcases the risks of such methodologies, proving that the ML solutions do not necessarily obtain their performance from the features relevant to the diseases at issue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
Pages (from-to)37
JournalJournal of Medical Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Machine learning
  • Monkeypox
  • Translational medicine


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