Skip to main content

Table 2 Potential publication related misconduct

From: Unethical practices within medical research and publication – An exploratory study

Misconduct Details Individuals involved
Convenient ethical clearance 1. Ambiguous details in ethical application with room for varied interpretation about study details.
2. Backdated ethical approval, after the study
Usually at the institutional or departmental level.
Selective use of data Deliberately ignoring or hiding findings to enhance impact of the publication Academics and PIs
Maximising mentorship privileges Using junior academics to carry out or help in expanding own research or offloading teaching duties to mentees. PIs and professors
Authorship by demand Demanding authorship from mentees’ work or publications without any input into the research PIs and professors
Authorship by default Expecting certain individuals (such as professors, post-doctoral fellows) to have authorships in every single manuscript produced with a laboratory Mainly academics and professors
Malpractices in grant selection Selecting applications from mentees or collaborators to offer internal funding At institutional level
Delaying review or decisions Purposely delaying reviewer decisions to make sure their (reviewers) papers are published first. Established reviewers
Reciprocal reviewing Agreement between academics to be a “friendly” reviewer on manuscripts of each other. Established reviewers
Indirect identification Authors purposely identifying themselves within manuscript by quoting their previous publications (by using terms as “Our previous study has shown”, paving the way to identify them in the reference section) Amongst academics and PIs