In March 1996, journal A published a case report about an eye condition with two authors credited, Drs X and Y, both radiologists. Exactly two years later, one of their former colleagues (Dr Z) wrote to the editor claiming that she had been responsible for the patient’s care; she was the ophthalmologist on call the night the patient was admitted. She argued that, as the clinician responsible for the patient, her name should have been on this case report. Indeed, the clinical facts of the case were, she alleges, inaccurate.
Dr Z wants journal A to publish a full case report with additional facts about the case history. The editor of journal A wrote to the corresponding author of the original case report. Dr X discovered that the patient’s chart was missing; it had been taken out at the request of Dr Z. It turns out that Dr Z was “moonlighting”in the hospital at the time that the patient was admitted. The clinical history remains disputed. What should the editor do next?
Authorship should have been resolved before.
The authority needs to hold an inquiry.
The true facts or a retraction should be published.
After looking at the available evidence, it was felt that the claimant did not have a strong case for authorship