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In January 2006, one of the major cases of scientific fraud in recent years broke in the media. It was discovered that the Norwegian researcher John Sudbø had falsified the complete set of data on which an article published in the Lancet in 2005 had been based.1 The article had 14 authors, and Professor Jan Helge Solbakk, Professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Oslo, was quoted in Norwegian media as saying that “… also the 13 other co-authors in the research scandal have muck on their hands…” and: “That none of the 13 has discovered what took place shows clearly that they have not been close to fulfilling the criteria for being co-authors.”2
One of the co-authors complained to the Norwegian Medical Association’s (NMA’s) Council for Professional Ethics about these comments, …
Competing interests: Søren Holm holds a part-time chair at the University of Oslo and is a colleague of Jan Helge Solbakk.