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The turbulence radial correlation length L-r of density fluctuations is studied across magnetic islands both numerically and experimentally. The numerical study has been carried out by a resistive MHD code (called FAR). It shows asymmetric L-r profiles when measured across magnetic islands. Subsequent simulations using a synthetic Doppler reflectometer suggest that this diagnostic has the capability to capture the effect observed in the results provided by FAR. Finally, experimental studies performed using the Doppler reflectometer installed at the TJ-II stellarator show asymmetries in the coherence profiles matching the radial position of magnetic islands. The similarities found between simulations and experiments indicate that radial correlation length measurements could be used to detect magnetic islands in fusion plasmas. Published by AIP Publishing.