Ghostauthors, ghost management and the manipulation of medical research

There are three articles in the June issue of Bioethics on different aspects of ghostwriting.

The first article, by Tobenna D Anekwe, “Profits and plagiarism: the case of medical ghostwriting” argues that “medical ghostwriting often involves plagiarism and, in those cases, can be treated as an act of research misconduct” and suggests measures to counter ghostwriting.

The second article, by Sergio Sismondo and Mathieu Doucet, “Publication ethics and the ghost management of medical publication" discusses the wider issue of management of the whole publication process, showing how “pharmaceutical companies engage in the ghost management of the scientific literature, by controlling or shaping several crucial steps in the research, writing, and publication of scientific articles."

The final article, by Carl Elliott and Amy Snow Landa, "What’s wrong with ghostwriting?" concludes that ghost authorship and ghost management are part of a much larger problem, “the manipulation of medical research for marketing purposes.”