Kate Johnson's Medical Musings

Life through the eyes of a medical journalist

What IS Medical Ghostwriting? Don’t throw the Baby out with the Bathwater.

Published September 1, 2009 in the Op-Ed section of the Montreal Gazette

By Kate Johnson

Barbara Sherwin  and McGill University’s unfortunate tangle with pharmaceutical ghostwriting could deal a serious blow to the publication of sound, ethical research worldwide if the reaction is to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

As medical ethicist Margaret Somerville, also of McGill, has already pointed out, Sherwin’s mistake could have been made by any number of well-intentioned, busy researchers.

The “publish or perish” panic in medical academia has many brilliant researchers scrambling to churn out enough papers to justify their jobs. John Eden, another well-known researcher implicated in this ghostwriting scandal, recently admitted this to Seattle blogger William Heisel.

As a medical editor, I help researchers with their writing –  enabling them to communicate the results of their studies to the wider medical community.

This is not ghostwriting. Continue reading

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Medical Writing | | 4 Comments

   

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