Publication ethics

Andrew Cockburn afc at gnv.ifas.ufl.edu
Tue Jul 26 09:21:47 EST 1994


I have a hypothetical question about publication ethics.

Suppose that you have been collaborating with someone else on a project.
For example, they clone a gene and run some sequencing gels; you read the
gels, do a BLAST search, identify a homologous gene, and do the alignment.

They then write a paper (using your alignment) in which they speculate
on how this contradicts the theory of evolution.  You object, but they
submit it to the Journal of Creation Research without your knowledge,
but with your name as coauthor.

Obviously this was not an ethical thing to do, but is it illegal?  We all
know that ethics and law are completely different things.

Whom would you complain to?  The university department, the funding agency
(assume that it is NIH), and/or the journal editor?  (Let us assume for the
moment that the editor at JCR is an ethical, well respected scientist.)

What redress would you expect, if 1) the paper is published, or 2) if the
paper is rejected?

All of the above is strictly hypothetical, of course.

Andrew Cockburn



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