One of the more flagrant offenses committed by pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession is the practice of “ghostwriting” medical articles.
A new cross-sectional survey found that more than 20 percent of articles published in six leading medical journals during 2008 were likely written by honorary- and/or ghost writers.
For medical journals, ghostwriting usually refers to writers sponsored by a drug or medical device company, who make major but uncredited research- or writing contributions.
The articles are instead published under the names of academic authors.
Such “inappropriate authorship” leads to a lack of transparency and accountability, which has become an important concern for the academic community.