N – Pressure to publish scoop science

Research in Cell has been criticised by five researchers from four research groups in three countries for not properly crediting their earlier findings (2008;133:1093-105, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2008.04.048). One critic, Peter Lawrence, said, “There’s a pressure on scientists to publish in these top journals to promote their work as more novel than it really is.” The paper’s main author has defended the work. In an unpublished letter to Cell Lawrence said that the paper “amounts to a theft of our intellectual property. . . A paper in Cell, whatever the quality, will gain citations and eclipse our own discoveries.” See Development 2004;131:4651-64. (www.the-scientist.com/templates/trackable/display/blog.jsp?type=blog&o_url=blog/display/55240&id=55240, 25 Nov 2008, “Critics rip Cell paper”)