Retraction of articles with misleading information.
Medical research (Ethical aspects)
Medicine, Experimental (Ethical aspects)
|Publication:||Name: Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Publisher: Australian Society of Anaesthetists Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Australian Society of Anaesthetists ISSN: 0310-057X|
|Issue:||Date: May, 2011 Source Volume: 39 Source Issue: 3|
|Topic:||Event Code: 290 Public affairs Advertising Code: 91 Ethics|
|Product:||Product Code: 8000200 Medical Research; 9105220 Health Research Programs; 8000240 Epilepsy & Muscle Disease R&D NAICS Code: 54171 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences; 92312 Administration of Public Health Programs|
|Persons:||Named Person: Boldt, Joachim; Boldt, Joachim|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: Australia Geographic Code: 8AUST Australia|
In March this year, the editors-in-chief of 18 journals signed a
joint statement "regarding published clinical trials conducted
without IRB approval by Joachim Boldt". This statement now appears
on their respective journal websites (e.g. www.aaeditor.
org/EIC.Joint.Statement.on.Retractions.pdf). The statement includes a
list of 88 articles authored or co-authored by Joachim Boldt for which
no record of institutional review board (IRB) approval can be found. The
signatories indicate that they have already retracted, or will shortly
retract these articles from their journals. Anaesthesia and Intensive
Care is not included on the list of signatories only because none of the
88 articles were published in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. However,
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care was included in the correspondence
leading to the publication of the joint statement.
The statement by the 18 editors-in-chief emphasises that the reason the articles have been (or will be) retracted is because they describe research that was undertaken without IRB (ethics) approval. Moreover, the IRB status in the articles was misrepresented. So far, the data from only one of these articles is considered to have been fabricated beyond a 'shadow of doubt' (1). However, suspicions have been raised about the remainder and this is a subject of ongoing investigation (1). Like most cases of suspected fraud investigation, this is being conducted at an institutional level.
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care shares the concerns expressed by the 18 co-signatories in relation to fraud, research without ethics approval, and other forms of misconduct in research and publishing. In January this year we updated our "Editorial Policies and Instructions for Authors" and "Terms and Conditions for Submissions" to help detect and deter any such behaviour. The joint statement by the 18 editors-in-chief shows how journals can co-operate to assist in this detection and deterrence. It also shows the determination of journal editors to expose and respond to cases of misconduct when they occur.
(1.) Shafer SL. Shadow of doubt. Anesth Analg 2011; 112:498-500.
N. M. Gibbs
Chief Editor, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
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