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Clin Anat. 2017 Sep;30(6):831-834. doi: 10.1002/ca.22932. Epub 2017 Jul 6.

"Political co-authorships" in medical science journals.

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Department of Anatomical Sciences, St. George's University, St. George's, Grenada, West Indies.
Seattle Science Foundation, Seattle, Washington.


The issue of co-author relationships on medical sciences journal publications has become more pronounced as advances in technology have enabled collaboration across countries and institutions to occur much more efficiently. These relationships often have underlying political motivations and outcomes, including career advancement, attempting to increase prestige of a project, and maintaining research grants. Some authors may be listed as senior or honorary authors despite offering little or no contribution to the original research project. This may be done in an effort to enhance the gravitas of a research project, and attain publication in a highly regarded medical journal. The current review covers the topic of political co-authorship and germane literature and lists strategies to combat this phenomenon. Such co-authorship practices corrupt the integrity of the research process as they attempt to bypass the safeguard that medical journals and institutions have put in place to prevent fraud and falsification. A number of strategies have been proposed to combat the practice of co-authorship, but it may ultimately be an unavoidable feature of contemporary medical research publishing that is difficult to police. Clin. Anat. 30:831-834, 2017.


authors; department; journals; medical education; promotions; seniority

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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