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Fraud and retraction in perioperative medicine publications: what we learned and what can be implemented to prevent future recurrence
  1. Consolato Gianluca Nato,
  2. Leonardo Tabacco,
  3. Federico Bilotta
  1. Department of Anaesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Umberto I Policlinico di Roma, Roma, Lazio, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Federico Bilotta, Department of Anaesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Umberto I Policlinico di Roma, 00161 Roma, Lazio, Italy; bilotta{at}tiscali.it

Abstract

Fraud in medical publications is an increasing concern. In particular, disciplines related to perioperative medicine—including anaesthesia and critical care—currently hold the highest rankings in terms of retracted papers for research misconduct. The dominance of this dubious achievement is attributable to a limited number of researchers who have repeatedly committed scientific fraud. In the last three decades, six researchers have authored 303 of the 375 papers retracted in perioperative medicine. This narrative review reports on six cases of forged publication in perioperative that resulted in the paper’s retraction. The process that led to unveil the fraud, the impact on clinical practice and changes in regulatory mechanisms of scientific companies and governmental agencies’ policies will also be presented. Fraud in medical publications is a growing concern that affects perioperative medicine requiring a substantial number of papers to be retracted. The continuous control elicited by readers, by local institutional review boards, scientific journal reviewers, scientific societies and government agencies can play an important role in preserving the ‘pact of trust’ between the authors, professionals and ultimately the relationship between doctors and patients.

  • applied and professional ethics
  • anaesthetics / anesthesiology
  • clinical ethics
  • education
  • ethics

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Footnotes

  • Contributors FB conceived of the presented idea. CGN and FB made the research and structure of the manuscript. LT and FB revised it. All authors listed contributed to the final manuscript.

  • 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 None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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