What Do Journal Editors Do When They Suspect Research Misconduct?
Medicine and Law: The World Association for Medical Law 2007 September; 26(3): 535-544
Several published guidelines urge journal editors to ensure that cases of suspected scientific misconduct are properly investigated. Using cases submitted to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) I tried to discover what editors actually do when faced with such cases. Of the 79 cases referred to COPE between 1998 and 2003 relating to author misconduct, 33 related to redundant publication, 16 to unethical research, 13 to fabrication, 10 to clinical misconduct and 7 to plagiarism. Outcomes were reported in 49 cases. Authors were exonerated in 16 cases and reprimanded in another 17. An impasse (no or an unsatisfactory response) was reached in 16. Editors contacted the authors' institutions in 24 cases. Nearly half the cases (36) lasted over a year. This small survey highlights the difficulties faced by editors in pursuing cases of suspected misconduct and the need for better training and guidance for editors and more cooperation from institutions.
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Wager, E.; Fiack, S.; Graf, C.; Robinson, A.; Rowlands, I. (2009-06)BACKGROUND: Breaches of publication ethics such as plagiarism, data fabrication and redundant publication are recognised as forms of research misconduct that can undermine the scientific literature. We surveyed journal ...