B – Guest Authorship and Ghostwriting

Ross J S, Hill K P, Egilman D S, Krumholz H M. Guest Authorship and Ghostwriting in Publications Related to Rofecoxib: A Case Study of Industry Documents From Rofecoxib Litigation. JAMA 2008;299(15):1800-1812

The article starts from the recent litigation related to rofecoxib, to examine guest authorship and ghostwriting, both practices that have been suspected in biomedical publication but for which there is little documentation. The objective was to determine the different types and the extent of guest authorship and ghostwriting in a case study. Using court documents and articles related to the topic, the authors demonstrated that clinical trial manuscripts related to rofecoxib were authored by sponsor employees but often attributed first authorship to academically affiliated investigators who did not always disclose industry financial support, and that review manuscripts were prepared by unacknowledged authors and subsequently attributed authorship to academically affiliated investigators who often did not disclose industry financial support.