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Fraud and retraction in perioperative medicine publications: what we learned and what can be implemented to prevent future recurrence


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 421 of the 475 papers retracted in perioperative medicine. This narrative review reports on six cases of fabricated publication in perioperative medicine that resulted in the paper’s retraction. The process that led to the unveiling of the fraud, the impact on clinical practice, and changes in regulatory mechanisms of scientific companies and governmental agencies’ policies are also 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 authors, professionals and ultimately the relationship between doctors and patients.

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

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