Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Serious abuse of editorial power is rarely publicized, but evidence that it occurs is accumulating. Authors who believe that they have been dealt with unfairly have little possibility of a hearing of their complaint, and cases cannot easily be publicized because of fears of legal action. We describe briefly three cases in which the alleged misdeeds indicate that there were legitimate questions that needed answers. In the first case, an editor republished a previously published article without the authors' permission (but stated the opposite), attacked it in an accompanying editorial, and then denied the authors the right of reply. The other cases concerned a commissioned review article that was plagiarized and an editor with an undisclosed vested interest. An appeal process is needed for authors who think that they are victims of editorial abuse of power. We suggest that the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors turn its attention to editorial misconduct and explore possible procedures for allowing authors' grievances to be heard and for possible sanctions if complaints are upheld. An International Medical Scientific Press Council might be established to produce a code of conduct for editors and a corresponding taxonomy of inappropriate editorial behavior.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Jama

Publication Date

13/07/1994

Volume

272

Pages

166 - 167

Keywords

Biomedical and Behavioral Research, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, Advisory Committees, Authorship, Biomedical Research, Editorial Policies, International Cooperation, Internationality, Professional Misconduct, Publishing, Scientific Misconduct