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December 1990

Dual Publication and Manipulation of the Editorial Process

Author Affiliations

Editor Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology; Editor Archives; Editor Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology; Senior Editor Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology; Editor International Journal of Dermatology; Editor Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(12):1625-1626. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670360089016

What purpose does a medical journal serve? Ideally, a medical journal is a conduit for the transmission of information useful in the understanding and treatment of disease. Realistically, medical journals also serve a less noble role. They provide a mechanism by which careers are advanced, reputations are made, and job security is enhanced. It is unfortunate that these two missions are not separable. The very existence of the latter may lead to the corruption of the former.1 Although fraudulent manipulation of scientific data is the most blatant example of "publication crimes," other more subtle, "softer" violations are increasing in frequency. Duplicate publication is possibly the most creative of the ethical transgressions.2 This involves the deliberate transformation of a manuscript from an original to an altered state. The change is effected to create the illusion of two independent publications. The similarities between the two are blurred so that the

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