Ghostwriters and commerce of scientific papers on the internet: science at risk
Grieger MC.
Faculdade de Medicina de Itajubá,
Av. Renó Junior 362,
CEP 37502-138 Itajubá, MG, Brazil.
Rev Assoc Med Bras. 2007 May-Jun;53(3):247-51.


Frauds in scientific production are not a rare phenomenon, even in the medical field. Among these frauds are some types of authorship misconduct, such as plagiarism and ghostwriting sponsored by pharmaceutical industries. Another type of misconduct, which is particularly detrimental to science, is the e-commerce of scientific works, which has been growing and frequently shown in the press. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the e-commerce of scientific papers and the means by which these services are offered. METHODS: Eighteen Brazilian web sites that offer elaboration of scientific papers were selected. A request for the elaboration of a final essay for a forged post-graduate course was sent to each of them. The research requested had already been completed, consequently technical, ethical and bibliographical characteristics were already known to the author. RESULTS: Ten enterprises accepted the order and, except for one, they have not objected to the conditions imposed: Field research, approval by an ethics committee on research and use of the Vancouver norms. Six have not replied and two have not accepted the order alleging that they had no co-workers available for the task. CONCLUSIONS: E-commerce of scientific papers is a fact which can negatively interfere in the ethical, scientific and professional development of graduate and post-graduate students, as well as in scientific production by adulterating data and information found in literature. A new approach is recommended, especially when evaluating final essays.
Big Pharma
'Publication bias'
Ghost authorship
The David Healy Affair
He who pays the piper...?
Ghostwriting in medical publications
Is antidepressant efficacy overrated?
Industry sponsorship and trial outcomes
Ghostwriting in peer-reviewed medical journals
Drug companies, doctors and medical corruption
The role of pharmaceutical company gifts to doctors
Medical writers in the pay of pharmaceutical companies
Ghost marketing and ghostwriting in peer-reviewed medical journals
Ghost authorship, gift authorship, non-disclosure and conflicts of interest
Are commonly prescribed "new generation" antidepressants little better than placebos?
Selective publication of clinical trials leads to unrealistic estimates of antidepressant efficacy

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