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Showing 141–155 of 155 results
  • Case

    Author dispute concerning ownership of data

    A paper submitted to Journal X was reviewed and rejected with the recommendation that it be submitted to a more clinical journal. The paper was duly submitted to Journal Y. The authorship was A, B, C, D and E, with E being the corresponding author linking together two research groups in different cities, but in the same country. Journal Y sent the paper to reviewers and, after discussion, thei…
  • Case

    Misconduct on a massive scale?

    Almost five years ago two outsiders approached an editor suggesting that a large series of papers from a particular researcher, including some published in high profile journals, might be fraudulent. Those contacting the editor thought it possible that the patients described in the studies had never existed at all. Round about the same time a few papers from this author were circulating in the…
  • Case

    The results that were too good to believe

    A study made it a long way through the peer review process before one of the statistical advisors said that the results seemed “too good to be true.” The authors were asked to send in the original data, which the statistician analysed. He remained very concerned about the data. The authors were notified and the journal asked the university to investigate. Has the editor done the right thing?
  • Case

    An anonymous letter in response to qualitative research

    Some two months after publishing a piece of qualitative research about health behaviour in an ethnic minority group, an anonymous letter suggested that the work might be fraudulent. The letter was in very poor English, but made two main points. Firstly, the original study did not make clear how many women were included, and secondly, the anonymous respondent could not understand who could have…
  • Case

    Should editors get involved in authorship disputes?

    A paper from Finland in a controversial area of vaccine research was peer reviewed and provisionally accepted. At the revision stage, the journal received a letter from a researcher based at an immunotherapy company in the United States, raising serious doubts over the analysis of the Finnish data. This author claimed to have been involved in the research, and proposed an alternative interpreta…
  • Case

    The anonymous critic

    A letter containing details of a case report was submitted in February 1999. The authors were from Japan. After peer review and revision, the case report was accepted and a proof was sent to the authors. Two anonymous letters were then received, one on April 29 and another on 12 May, both from Japan. Both letters claimed that the author “has prized honour above everything else” and that he had…
  • Case

    A first report, not followed by a second

    In 1984, journal X published a brief report of a randomised trial as a letter to the editor. No full publication of this trial followed, despite calls for this from colleagues in the field. It took the intervention of a regional research ethics committee and a dean to persuade the investigators to write a final manuscript.This paper has still not been submitted for publication, although some of…
  • Case

    Publication of misleading information and publication

    I analysed the results of a randomised controlled trial that had just been completed by some of my colleagues. The trial compared an oxygen radical scavenger with a placebo in patients with acute myocardial infarction. One of the major outcome measures included infarct size,as measured by nuclear imaging. My analysis showed that there was no significant difference between groups for either of t…
  • Case

    Overseas editor dismissed from university for fraud

    An international specialist medical journal has editors in the UK and abroad who function independently. An issue of a scientific journal in 1998 reported that the overseas editor had been dismissed from a university professorship because of scientific fraud. This had been documented in three published research papers.The report highlighted a particular paper, in which 27 references cited indic…
  • Case

    Surprising results and a new area of research

    A paper described an unusual approach to disease modulation in an experimental animal model. The apparently clear cut findings were somewhat surprising. The authors also seem to have used high and low power photomicrographs of the same tissue sections to illustrate completely different experiments within the study. This occurred twice in the paper. Furthermore, this particular area of study was…
  • Case

    Triplicate publication with possibly different data in each

    A paper describing an outbreak of infectious disease was submitted to three journals. The submission to one journal described the index case; the submission to another included investigation and follow up of other cases and contacts in the country where the outbreak had occurred. The third paper looked at the spread of the disease into other countries. A considerable amount of the epidem…
  • Case

    Grounds for retraction?

    The co-author of a paper has contacted us about a paper he published 5 years ago together with a researcher who has now been convicted of serious professional misconduct by the GMC for research misconduct. The co-author is worried that the paper he co-authored may also be fraudulent. The research was in two parts. The first was analysed by a doctor not convicted of research miscon…
  • Case

    Failing to get consent from an ethics committee

    This case was described to me by an author who is about to submit a paper. He has discovered that a member of his team has produced a lot of fraudulent data for other studies, and has forged consent from ethics committees. This researcher has been reported to the GMC and his case is pending. The problem with the paper about to be submitted to us is that the fraudulent researcher falsely claime…
  • Case

    The perfect study but no investigational drug

    A paper was submitted that described the use of a non-licensed investigational drug. One of the paper’s reviewers drew attention to the fact that none of the investigators in the study had been supplied with the drug since 1992/3. The drug is produced exclusively by one manufacturer who has operated an extremely restrictive policy regarding availability of the compound. I contacted the clinical…
  • Case

    Suspected fabrication of data

    A reviewer expressed suspicion that data were manufactured. We wrote to the authors saying that our reviewer would like to see the original data. The author replied that this research was carried out in the USA. We then wrote back suggesting that his co-workers in the US would probably be delighted that this work was being submitted for publication and would happily send over the data but that…

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