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Neurologia. 2011 Jun;26(5):257-61. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2010.12.001. Epub 2011 Feb 26.

Ghost-authors, improvement article communication, and medical publications.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Servicio de Neurología, Instituto de Neurociencias, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, España.



Relationship between ghost-authors and medical writers has been debated, even arriving to citizens. Accusation that through ghost-authors, market messages are introduced in medical journals has been suggested.


This paper carried out an analysis of ghost-authors and their application to medical writers and discusses the intellectual authorship of the scientific articles, as well as the relationship with research groups and pharmaceutical industry, as well as the position of journal.


The role of medical workers is advisable because improves communication of articles. Using authorship criteria, medical writers cannot be considered as ghost-authors. Misconducts for medical writers should be pursued but also those from editors and authors. Responsibility of articles belongs to authors who are responsible of false conclusions obtained from data research and to the editor in the case of the paper was published.

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