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The White Bull effect: abusive coauthorship and publication parasitism
  1. L S Kwok
  1. Correspondence to:
 L S Kwok
 Eagle Eye Vision Consultants, 14 Bedford St, Willoughby 2068, Australia;


Junior researchers can be abused and bullied by unscrupulous senior collaborators. This article describes the profile of a type of serial abuser, the White Bull, who uses his academic seniority to distort authorship credit and who disguises his parasitism with carefully premeditated deception. Further research into the personality traits of such perpetrators is warranted.

  • ICMJE, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
  • NH&MRC, National Health and Medical Research Council
  • bullying
  • coauthorship
  • collaboration
  • misconduct
  • research conduct

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  • The author was supported by a University of Ulster Visiting Scholar award. The author was on leave from the University of New South Wales, and was supported by a Visiting Scholars Award from the University of Ulster. There were no other funding sources for this work. The Visiting Scholars Award is an unrestricted research grant and the organisation (University of Ulster) had no financial gain/loss and thus had no influence on study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report, and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

  • Competing interests: none declared

  • The author Lance Stephen Kwok is the guarantor of the paper. He accepts full responsibility for the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish. The author conceived and wrote the manuscript by himself and takes full responsibility for its contents. Being the sole author he assures the JME that (1) all authors included on a paper fulfil the criteria of authorship; and (2) that there is no one else who fulfils the criteria but has not been included as an author.