Letter to the Editor: Pelvic Fractures in Women of Childbearing Age
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- Vallier, H.A. Clin Orthop Relat Res (2010) 468: 2819. doi:10.1007/s11999-010-1498-y
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To the Editor:
Sexual and obstetric function after a pelvis fracture has been a long-standing interest of mine. I have pursued research in this area during the past 9 years, and my colleagues and I have been fortunate to present our work at the annual meetings of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association in 2006 and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2007. We currently are attempting to publish our work on dyspareunia and functional outcomes after pelvic ring injury. I was surprised to learn of the publication of an article by Cannada and Barr entitled, “Pelvic fractures in women of childbearing age” , as my colleagues and I had been collaborating with Dr. Cannada during the past 3 years on a multicenter project regarding childbirth after pelvic fracture, which was funded by the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society in 2007. That collaborative work was presented at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association in 2009, and included more than 30 women with pregnancies subsequent to pelvic fracture treated at the MetroHealth Medical Center, none of which were part of the article by Cannada and Barr. It is exciting to see research on this pertinent subject published, but it is disappointing that my colleagues and I waited to publish our data on women with pregnancy after pelvic fracture with the multicenter group, including Dr. Cannada. Our intent was to contribute to a larger (multicenter) data set and stronger findings. We were not informed that Drs. Cannada and Barr already had submitted material for publication while continuing to receive data from my colleagues and me as recently as March 2010. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Standards of Professionalism with respect to Research and Academic Responsibilities defines a code which includes honesty with colleagues, and states, “An orthopaedic surgeon shall not present ideas, language, data, graphics or scientific protocols created by another person without giving appropriate credit…..The senior author of a scientific report is responsible for ensuring that appropriate credit is given for contribution to the research described.” Although I do not contend that Drs. Cannada and Barr included our data in their manuscript, their methodology incorporated questions to patients which I developed in 2002, and Dr. Cannada raised concern about authorship of these questions, as they are part of another article my colleagues and I have submitted for consideration to another journal (Vallier HA, Cureton BA, Schubeck D. Pelvic ring injury is associated with sexual dysfunction in women. J Orthop Trauma. Submitted for publication, 2010). In an era of increased public scrutiny and skepticism of our work, we must maintain the highest standard of integrity and professionalism in our academic practices. Thus, I am drawing attention to the appropriate origin and authorship of the questionnaire material.