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By Stephen Lock, Frank Wells

The definitive and in basic terms e-book on the earth which bargains solely with medical study misconduct, recognising that - even though it isn't really rife - its occurance in any respect calls for reputation and motion.

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Smith R. Making progress with competing interests. BMJ 2002; 325: 1375–6. 20. Haivas I, Schroter S, Waechter F, Smith R. Editors’ declaration of their own conflicts of interest. CMAJ 2004; 171: 475–6. 21. Smith R. Peer review – a flawed process at the heart of science. J R Soc Med 2006; 99: 178–82. 22. Jefferson T, Alderson P, Wager E, Davidoff F. Effects of editorial peer review: a systematic review. JAMA 2002; 287: 2784–6. 23. Smith R. Opening up peer review. BMJ 1999; 318: 4–5. 24. Shapiro DW, Wenger WS, Shapiro MF.

Relating to the mass media It used to be that journals would refuse to publish research that had been trailed in the mass media. Two editors of the New England Journal of Medicine – Franz Ingelfinger and Bud Relman – followed this policy very strongly, arguing that it was irresponsible to publicize research that had not been fully peer-reviewed. The policy was criticized by journalists on the grounds that the journals – which often took a year to publish studies – were holding back information that could be important for the health of the public.

NSF never instituted such a policy, and continued to examine cases where students or co-workers alleged that their contributions had been appropriated by another without cause or attribution. No system in which some could have their complaints examined while others could not would succeed for long. Science is a risky enterprise, often requiring much trial and error. No one could possibly undertake scientific experiments if error was construed as misconduct. As Mishkin22 has pointed out, ‘misconduct’ in legal parlance means a wilful transgression of some definite rule.

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