Friday, August 7, 2009

Elsevier Published Ghostwritten Papers

The New York Times reports that the publisher Elsevier (I have previously blogged about them publishing fake journals for pharmaceutical compnaies) published some of 26 scientific papers that the pharmaceutical company Wyeth paid ghostwriters to write about some of their products. The ghostwriters come from so-called "medical writing companies".

This has come to light from legal research involved in more than 8000 lawsuits directed at Wyeth.

The article in the NYT demonstrates the exact ghostwriting process for one of the papers, and names the unethical professor supposedly having written the paper. She insists that she contributed to the paper by phone and not just by the email messages that have been secured, and that the paper reflects her views on the topic.

Where do we draw the line, and how do we prevent this from happening? The paper is surely on her CV.

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