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Why aren't journals already doing this?

Posted by AdamJacobs on 31 Aug 2011 at 09:04 GMT

To this we would add that journals too must take responsibility for their actions and start to think creatively about possible solutions

I agree 100% with this sentiment. Medical writing associations such as EMWA are doing what they can to eradicate ghostwriting by educating their members about ethical practices, but that's never going to be enough by itself. Not all medical writers belong to professional associations. Journals have to take a tough stand and do their bit to avoid publishing ghostwritten articles.

However, I'm surprised that you don't mention here a solution that I and some colleagues proposed over 2 years ago. I'm surprised, because it was published in PLoS Medicine, so one would assume you are aware of it. This solution is a simple checklist that could be sent to authors of papers as part of the manuscript submission process. I'm not claiming that it would eliminate the problem of ghostwriting overnight, but surely it would help, wouldn't it? Can you explain why you're not using it?

The article in which we published the checklist is available here:

Competing interests declared: As above