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Case Study: Publication Ethics

Answer (Scenario 1)

1. Methods (original article):

This study was a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) conducted in four teaching hospitals in London. Patients were recruited between January 2007 and December 2008. Patients were eligible for inclusion in the study if they were over the age of 18 and had undergone an elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy… (the methods would then be described in detail)

2. Methods (new article):

The full methods of this study have already been reported in our previous article [6].

Briefly, we conducted a RCT involving patients over the age of 18 who had undergone an elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy in 2005/2006 in one of four London teaching hospitals.

Answer (Scenario 2)

Unfortunately not. The Editor cannot intervene and investigate on behalf of the authors. The manuscript is put on hold (in some instances can even be rejected) until the authorship issue has been resolved. The authors are encouraged to contact their institution to determine who should be listed as an author on the paper.