N – Treat Déjà Vu with caution

Déjà Vu (http://spore.swmed.edu/dejavu), a free database of “extremely similar Medline citations,” which might represent duplicate publications, is not always to be trusted. An editorial in Clinical Chemistry points out many false entries and warns that inclusion might damage the reputation and career of honest scientists. Reasons for misclassification include publisher error, follow-up studies from the same cohort, guidelines that are adopted or published by several cooperating journals, and articles republished in a different language. “A large number of authors may have to defend themselves to free their names from such unfounded allegations,” say the editorialists. (Clinical Chemistry 54;777-8:2008, doi:10.1373/clinchem.2008.104794)