Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to detect ghostwriting in medical journals

Gary Switzer, from Health News Review, explains:
In our view there are three simple steps for finding ghosts. Step one is to examine the internal company documents to see who made significant contributions to the paper. Step two is to open up the published paper and see who is on the byline. Step three is to see if the byline has omitted some of those individuals who made significant contributions. 
These steps are necessary, but incredibly labour intensive, if not impossible, for an average person to do!

One of the examples given in a subsequent post walks through InFuse, a bone growth promoting product sold by Medtronic, which was a target of a huge lawsuit and in the process made a pile of internal company documents available.  This is the critical piece of information, but only comes to light in the most grievous of ghostwriting cases.