Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Copyright and conflicts of interest

The journal Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM) retracted an article titled "Cancer Mortality in a Chinese Population Exposed to Hexavalent Chromium in Water" in 2006 based on alleged violations of JOEM editorial policy for failing to include a footnote acknowledging research support of American scientific consultants.

The Wall Street Journal quoted JOEM editor Dr. Paul Brandt-Rauf as saying author Dr. Shukun Li agreed to the article's retraction.

Here's the rub: But Dr. Li never agreed to the retraction and is seeking to republish the study in another peer-reviewed journal, which the JOEM has prevented by refusing to release its copyright according to Dr. Li.

This is one very clear example of "why" authors should NOT assign copyright to journals.

If Cr(VI) in water sounds familiar, it should. the Wall Street Journal claimed the study was ghostwritten by American scientists working on behalf of Pacific Gas and Electric, then a defendant in a lawsuit over the discharge of wastewater in Hinkley, California. The lawsuit was featured in the 2000 motion picture "Erin Brockovich." [from bnet]


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