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Irresponsible Authorship and Wasteful Publication

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Edward J. Huth, M.D.; Editor, Annals of Internal Medicine, 4200 Pine Street; Philadelphia, PA 19104.

©1986 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1986;104(2):257-259. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-104-2-257
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Fraud is a dramatic offense in scientific publishing but other offenses are more frequent and probably far more damaging. The most frequent lesser offenses are irresponsible authorship and wasteful publication. The authorship problems include listing "authors" who made little or no contribution to the work reported and omitting of persons who made major contributions. Wasteful publication includes dividing the results in a single study into two or more papers ("salami science"); republishing the same material in successive papers (which need not have identical format and content); and blending data from one study with additional data to extract yet another paper that could not make its way on the second set of data alone ("meat extenders"). Wasteful publication may be the most frequent of these offenses and is probably the most damaging because of its economic implications for publishers, readers, libraries, and indexes.





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