Mojon-Azzi SM, Jiang XY, Wagner U, Mojon DS "Redundant publications in scientific ophthalmologic journals - the tip of the iceberg?" Ophthalmology 111(5): 863-866 May 2004 Elsevier Science Inc. NY
garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Tue Nov 16 17:42:40 EST 2004
Daniel S. Mojon - e-mail: daniel.mojon at kssg.ch
TITLE : Redundant publications in scientific ophthalmologic journals - the
tip of the iceberg?
AUTHOR : Mojon-Azzi SM, Jiang XY, Wagner U, Mojon DS
SOURCE : Ophthalmology 111(5): 863-866 May 2004 Elsevier Science Inc. NY
Author Address : DS Mojon, Kantonsspital, Dept. Ophthalmol, CH-9007 St.
Objective: The number of scientific publications is often used to measure
scientific achievement. This practice can motivate unethical conduct, such
as redundant or duplicate publications, defined as publication of
the same scientific contents in more than 1 journal. The aim of this study
was to estimate the amount of redundant publications in ophthalmologic
Design: Retrospective analysis of published literature.
Methods: We developed an electronic search engine for redundancies to
estimate the amount of duplicate publications in scientific journals. When
redundancies reached a given degree (matching score), the articles were
screened manually based on authors, titles, and abstracts. We applied this
method to the 22 433 articles that were published between 1997 and 2000 in
70 ophthalmologic journals indexed by MEDLINE.
Main Outcome Measures: The number of duplicate publications with a matching
score of 0.6 or more, the number of involved journals, and the number of
Results: Redundancies reached a matching score of 0.6 or more in 13 967
pairs of articles. Out of them, a sample of 2210 was reviewed manually. We
found 60 redundant articles and estimated that 1.39% of the publications
were redundant. Thirty-two journals and an estimate of 1092 authors were
involved. In 5% of cases, the scientific conclusions were modified.
Conclusions: Because of the restrictive selection process, the
practicability of detecting all redundant publications, and the estimated
amount of duplicates increases with lower matching scores, we regard our
estimate to be the tip of the iceberg. Duplicate publications have several
negative impacts, but neither peer reviewers nor editors can protect their
journal from them completely. Several deterrents for duplicate publications
are possible, but as long as publications remain the central requirement for
academic advancement, a solution seems unlikely. Nevertheless, it is the
responsibility of all those who care about objective research and
evidence-based medicine to address this problemnot only in ophthalmology.
Ophthalmology 2004;111: 863866 © 2004 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
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