Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ghost Authorship Of Industry Funded Drug Trials Is Common

Date:
January 16, 2007
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Ghost authorship is the failure to name, as an author, an individual who has made a substantial contribution to a scientific article. A study of 44 industry-initiated trials from Denmark in the 1990s found evidence of ghost authorship for 33 trials, which increased to 40 if a person qualifying for authorship was just acknowledged rather than being named as an author.

Ghost authorship is the failure to name, as an author, an individual who has made a substantial contribution to a scientific article. A study of 44 industry-initiated trials from Denmark in the 1990s found evidence of ghost authorship for 33 trials, which increased to 40 if a person qualifying for authorship was just acknowledged rather than being named as an author.

The researchers, led by Peter C. Gřtzsche from the Nordic Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark, studied all published industry-initiated randomised trials approved in 1994--1995 by the Scientific-Ethical Committees for Copenhagen and Frederiksberg in Denmark. They compared the full trial protocols (which were written before the trial was begun) approved by these ethical committees with the primary scientific report which resulted from these trials, and which was published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Ghost authorship was defined as present if individuals who wrote the trial protocol, performed the statistical analyses, or wrote the manuscript, were not listed as authors of the publication, or as members of a study group or writing committee, or in an acknowledgment. Of the 44 trials included, 43 were initiated by one of 26 multinational pharmaceutical firms and one by a local company.

In 31 trials, the ghost authors identified were statisticians. Eight publications acknowledged the assistance of statisticians, and four acknowledged the assistance of medical writers. Conversely, although all published reports had clinicians as authors no trial protocol or publication stated explicitly that the study report or the manuscript was to be written or was written by the clinical investigators, and none of the protocols stated that clinical investigators were to be involved with data analysis. It was also unclear whether clinicians had contributed to the protocols.

This study is the first that has systematically examined the prevalence of ghost authorship using a cohort of protocols and corresponding publications. The authors conclude that "ghost authorship in industry-initiated randomised trials is very common, and we believe that this practice serves commercial purposes". They go on to urge that in order to reduce the prevalence of ghost authorship existing guidelines, such as those drawn up by the International Committee on Medical Journal Editors, World Association of Medical Editors and European Medical Writers Association are followed. This action could increase the chance that publications accurately, fairly, and comprehensively reflect the data collected from trials

A related perspective by Liz Wager, an independent editorial consultant, who has been involved in drawing up guidelines for medical writers, discusses the implication of these findings further.

Citation: Gřtzsche PC, Hróbjartsson A, Johansen HK, Haahr MT, Altman DG, et al. (2007) Ghost authorship in industry-initiated randomised trials. PLoS Med 4(1): e19. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040019)

 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Ghost Authorship Of Industry Funded Drug Trials Is Common." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070115215757.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2007, January 16). Ghost Authorship Of Industry Funded Drug Trials Is Common. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070115215757.htm
Public Library of Science. "Ghost Authorship Of Industry Funded Drug Trials Is Common." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070115215757.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins