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February 10, 1984

The Urge to Publish

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Ohio Toledo

JAMA. 1984;251(6):727. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340300023009

To the Editor.—  There has been a growing awareness that fraud and deception may occur in today's multiauthored clinical research reports from prestigious medical centers. It is well to reflect that these flawed articles stem from the actions of an individual rather than a group. Accordingly, the simple unadorned case report may be as suspect as a scientific study documented by an awesome, statistically valid set of quantitative data. Such misrepresentation is not new. Witness the account of Richard Asher1 concerning a physician whose urge to publish found nourishment only in his imagination.As Asher relates it, the deception was uncovered at the beginning of this century by Professor William Bulloch2 in the course of his classic study of the inheritance of hemophilia. Puzzled by an article describing several women as having hemophilia that they had inherited from their fathers, Bulloch wrote the author. The reply was astonishing