Date: 04 Jun 2011

Academic fraud: perspectives from a lifelong anesthesia researcher

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Science and medicine have been beset by an increasing incidence of fraud detected in academic research.1-3 Historically, academic fraud involving either ethical and/or scientific misconduct has often been associated with high profile journals.4-8 A number of these high profile cases have involved anesthesiologists.9,10 One well-publicized case of academic fraud resulted in the imprisonment of anesthesiologist, Dr. Scott Reuben, who was at the centre of more than 20 falsified studies in multimodal pain therapy.11 More recently, a joint statement from the editors-in-chief of 16 anesthesia, perioperative, and critical care journals has outlined the group retraction of 88 articles authored or co-authored by another anesthesiologist, Dr. Joachim Boldt.12 The large number of article retractions over the past several years brings into question whether there is a specialty-related propensity for anesthesiologists to be tempted to commit academic fraud, or are the recent exposures merely a stat

Dr. Mutch is the 2011 recipient of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society Research Recognition Award.