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Anesth Analg. 2011 Mar;112(3):674-7. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182042d4d. Epub 2010 Dec 14.

Publication misrepresentation among anesthesiology residency applicants.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Publication misrepresentation has been documented among applicants for residency positions in several specialties. However, these data are not available for anesthesiology applicants. Our purpose in this study was to document the prevalence of publication misrepresentation among applicants to a single anesthesiology residency, to compare anesthesiology publication misrepresentation data with similar data in other specialties, and to determine how often publication misrepresentation leads to an unfair competitive advantage in the application process.


Applications to the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education anesthesiology core residency in Rochester, Minnesota, were reviewed for publication misrepresentations using Medline and PubMed databases, Mayo Clinic library databases, and/or review by a qualified medical librarian. Misrepresented publications underwent further review to identify fraudulent publications and/or citation errors that provide an unfair competitive advantage.


The authors found that 2.4% of the applications (13 of 532) included fraudulent publications, 6.6% of the applications with at least 1 publication (13 of 197) included ≥1 that was fraudulent, and 2.9% of all cited publications (15 of 522) were fraudulent. In addition, 0.9% of the applications (5 of 532) contained a citation error that, although not grossly fraudulent, could have favorably affected the applicant's competitiveness for a residency position.


Misrepresented publications were fairly common among anesthesiology residency applicants. However, only a small percentage of applicants listed misrepresented publications that were clearly fraudulent or contained a citation error that conferred a competitive advantage. Identification of fraudulent publications on Electronic Residency Application Service applications is important to maintain the integrity of the application process.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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