L. A. HEALEY, M.D.
To The Editor: To the discussion of fraud and irresponsible authorship by academicians and publishers, I would like to add another point of view: that of a reader. Although irresponsible authorship may facilitate fraud, I disagree that it is the more damaging offense. It is a nuisance to a reader, but fraud is destructive.
The escalation of multiple authors and bibliographic items in academic medicine seems, to an outsider, to be a charade that could be stopped without much difficulty. Petersdorf (1) is right that counting papers is easier than reading them, but the papers can be read. If Angell's
HEALEY LA. Fraud and Irresponsible Authorship. Ann Intern Med. ;104:886–887. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-104-6-886
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1986;104(6):886-887.
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