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April 20, 2008



Such a good question: Who is watching the overseer? Reminds me of the problem with parents of kids with tough problems: Who is reinforcing the reinforcer? If we can have "glasnost" about our work (e.g., I posted preliminary data from a study on my blog), then we can open ourselves to praise and criticism...an honest process.

Jenny Darrow

I was astounded to learn that this practice is becoming more and more common and wonder if the academic researcher (who greatly benefits from the name and reputation of the university he/she works for) is reprimanded in any way? Could it be likened to plagiarism, stealing, lying, etc.? Students would be tagged with an academic honesty violation but what about researchers? Whose watching this behavior in the research/publication world?

The WSJ ran an article about this very issue: "...Alex J. Brown, an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis was credited with authoring an article on the use of synthetic vitamin D....But recently, that same article was featured as a work sample by a different person: Michael Anello, a free-lance medical writer, who posted a summary of it on his Web site. Mr. Anello says he was hired to write the article by a communications firm working for Abbott Laboratories...".

It seems unethical to me but perhaps it's an accepted practice?

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