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Differential Diagnosis: Distinguishing Between Ghostwriting and Professional Medical Writing in Biomedical Journals

Cindy W. Hamilton, PharmD1,2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Hamilton House, Virginia Beach, Virginia
2Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, Richmond
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(22):2091-2092. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10420.
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To the Editor Ghostwriting is assumed to be widespread based on anecdotal reports, but the prevalence was 0.16% in a survey of 896 authors of articles published in 2008.1 We congratulate Bosch et al2 for studying this frequently misunderstood ethical issue, which suffers from a paucity of well- designed research. The aim of their survey was to assess the prevalence and content of ghostwriting policies in high-impact biomedical journals. We are concerned that their publication may further confuse this issue.

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December 9, 2013
Xavier Bosch, MD, PhD
1Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clínic, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(22):2092-2093. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10387.
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