Worldwide there are currently over 1200 research studies being performed on the topic of COVID-19. Many of these involve children and adults over age 65 years. There are also numerous studies testing investigational vaccines on healthy volunteers. No research team is exempt from the pressures and speed at which COVID-19 research is occurring. And this can increase the risk of honest error as well as misconduct. To date, 33 papers have been identified as unsuitable for public use and either retracted, withdrawn, or noted with concern. Asia is the source of most of these manuscripts (n=19; 57.6%) with China the largest Asian subgroup (n=11; 57.9%). This paper explores these findings and offers guidance for responsible research practice during pandemics.
- research ethics
- public health ethics
This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.https://bmj.com/coronavirus/usage
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Contributors Bramstedt KA is the sole author.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests The author owns a private consulting company focused on bioethics and clinical ethics (AskTheEthicist, LLC).
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon request.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Consistency of covid-19 trial preprints with published reports and impact for decision making: retrospective review
- Misinformation: an empirical study with scientists and communicators during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Frauds in scientific research and how to possibly overcome them
- Why unethical papers should be retracted
- How a few poorly designed COVID-19 studies may have contributed to misinformation in Brazil: the case for evidence-based communication of science
- Fraud and retraction in perioperative medicine publications: what we learned and what can be implemented to prevent future recurrence
- Cross-sectional study of preprints and final journal publications from COVID-19 studies: discrepancies in results reporting and spin in interpretation
- How covid-19 bolstered an already perverse publishing system
- Improving biomedical journals’ ethical policies: the case of research misconduct
- The fraud squad