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Medical Field Coming Clean on Double Publications

Posted January. 30, 2009 07:10,   


“We, the authors of the article ‘Clinical Characteristics and Predictors of Acute Oliguric Renal Failure in Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome,’ want to come clean about our fault of double publication and withdraw our article that ran on the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine.”

The article was published in the journal in 2006 and republished in the Journal of Infection in 2007.

This comment was posted on the January edition of the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine. Beside the comment, the journal carried an apology saying, “The authors submitted their article to different journals due to lack of knowledge on prohibiting double publications at the time. We express our regret over this and will try our best to prevent a recurrence.”

The authors who posted the apology were six medical physicians from the Armed Forces Medical Command, Army Headquarters and the medical school of Yonsei University.

Last month, eight medical researchers specializing in allergies and rheumatology at Ajou University Medical Center also posted a similar apology on the journal. It said the authors admit a mistake was made in the publication of their article in the journal in 2006 and want to withdraw publication.

In July last year, a medical research team of eight physicians from Seoul National and Dongguk universities also admitted to a double publication of their articles to the journal. They ran apologies for their mistake, along with requests for withdrawal.

Each year, about 10,000 articles are published in medical journals at home and abroad. In the past, no one took double publication of articles seriously.

Recently, however, more physicians are coming clean on their mistakes, apparently aiming to correct wrong practices of the past. This movement originated with Song In-seong, a medical professor at Seoul National University Hospital and president of the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine.

Elected an executive member of the World Congress of Internal Medicine this year, he confessed that he and other 15 researchers at his university posted double publications in the journal in March last year, and apologized. He had been appointed head of the journal in October 2007.

“For the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine to be registered with the Science Citation Index, the journal’s articles must remain problem-free including double publication,” he said.

“The advancement of the research system in the near future will immediately find out duplicated publications. Moreover, persons who resort to such illegal methods will face disadvantages.”