Medical Journal Ghostwriting Policies

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that medical journal policies on “ghostwriting” are not clear with respect to the omission of substantial contributors to published studies.  This may raise concerns about research findings because, for example, a corporation may draft an article that is published without reference to the corporation’s contribution.  Out of the 399 peer-reviewed medical journals included in the study, “only one in ten defined ghostwriting and even fewer had written policies on how they detect or respond to the practice.”  However, some believe the study’s findings may be flawed as some journals address the practice of ghostwriting using other terms and without referring to the practice as “ghostwriting.”  According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, authors of research studies should “’have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.’”  Read the original article here.  Read the study here.

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