SAN DIEGO—Young scientists unwittingly caught up in scandals over fraudulent research have found the experience to be a drain on their emotions and a stain on their professional careers.

Interviews with nearly a dozen researchers whose, names have been linked to some of the best-known cases of fraud revealed that the practice of "gift authorship" has sidetracked academic careers, put federal research grants beyond reach and thrown into question other legitimate studies they have published. It has even limited their opportunities to practice medicine privately.

The young researchers appear to have been exploited in part because of their naiveté, which was as glaring as their eagerness to receive credit for published research. Although none has been accused of participating knowingly in the scientific misconduct, their careers have become clouded by the specter of dishonesty.

Jeffrey J. Brown, now 31, was a radiology fellow in the early 1980s when he came...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?