Despite suggestions to the contrary, the $5 million the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to spend over the next 5 years on public relations work, including asking outside writers to compose articles about EPA research, will not include ghostwriting for articles published in academic, peer-reviewed journals, the agency said this week.

"The only person who's going to be writing [a] peer-reviewed article is the scientist," EPA spokeswoman Eryn Witcher told The Scientist.

Her assurances appear to contradict an article last week in The New York Times that heavily quoted Donald Kennedy about his attitude toward ghostwritten articles submitted to Science, where he is executive editor-in-chief. "If we knew that [an article] had been written by someone who was not a scientist and submitted as though it were the work of a scientist, we wouldn't take it," Kennedy told the Times.

One of the EPA's requests for...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

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