Ghostwriting Rife in Medical Journals

We previously reported on a Pfizer incident. Apparently, it was the tip of the iceberg:

Six of the top medical journals published a significant number of articles in 2008 that were written by ghostwriters… [including] a 10.9 percent rate of ghostwriting in the New England Journal of Medicine a rate of 7.9 percent in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 7.6 percent in The Lancet, 7.6 percent in PLoS Medicine, 4.9 percent in The Annals of Internal Medicine, and 2 percent in Nature Medicine.

The study will be published in JAMA.


Who you gonna call?

Comments (6)

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  1. Vicki says:

    Great song pairing.

  2. Nancy says:

    I think this is a very disturbing finding.

  3. Bart Ingles says:

    I was just hearing about how hard it was to get an article published in the top journals, & how they reject 90% of all submissions. The ghostwriters must be really good.

  4. Bret says:

    The newspaper version of this article said that the ghost writers were on the payroll of the drug companies. But the online version corrected that statement and said that the survey did not attempt to find out who paid the ghost writers.

  5. Bruce says:

    It’s most unusual for authors who make significant contributions to journal articles to leave their names off of the publications. Clearly, they have something to hide.

  6. Michael Kirsch, M.D. says:

    Ghostwriting is often a euphemism for plagiarism. Such ethics from academics who hold themselves up to be models of rectitude and virtue to ordinary physicians like me and to the public. Even my kids would know that this is wrong.