Friday, December 16, 2005

Papers in medical journals as infomercials?

Bob Park noted a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal on Dec. 13, 2005, by Staff Reporter Anna Wilde Mathews that dealt with publication of ghost-written papers in major medical journals. The papers bear the names of academic researchers, who presumably agree with the articles. The intent, however, is not to disseminate knowledge, but to promote the products of the company that paid to have it written. We expel students who turn in ghost-written papers.

We have previously written about scientific papers which amount to infomercials.
See L.B. Ebert, Commercialization of Information: Science Journals as Infomercials, Intellectual Property Today, p. 5 (Dec. 1999), mentioning an article in the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 2, 1999. See also the article The Man with No Eye is King, posted without attribution on a law firm website.


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