Randy S. Hebert, MD, MPH; Cheri G. Smith, MLS; Scott M. Wright, MD
Hebert RS, Smith CG, Wright SM. Minimal Prevalence of Authorship Misrepresentation among Internal Medicine Residency Applicants: Do Previous Estimates of “Misrepresentation” Represent Insufficient Case Finding?. Ann Intern Med. 2003;138:390-392. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-138-5-200303040-00008
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(5):390-392.
High rates of authorship misrepresentation have been documented among medical trainees.
To assess misrepresentation among internal medicine residency applicants while comparing searches used by previous authors (searches 1 and 2) to a more comprehensive strategy (search 3).
Review of 497 residency applications.
Two university-based internal medicine residency programs.
Search 1 was limited to MEDLINE. Search 2 added Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and BIOSIS and included searching journals by hand. Search 3 added seven other databases and contacts to librarians, editors, and coauthors.
224 applicants reported 634 articles; 630 (99%) were verified. The number of applicants with misrepresented citations varied depending on the search used (56 applicants [25%] in search 1 vs. 34 applicants [15%] in search 2 vs. 4 applicants [1.8%] in search 3).
Using a comprehensive search, we found substantially less misrepresentation than had been reported. Previous studies probably overestimated the magnitude of the problem.
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