Panel Backs Journal Retractions

Medical journals should print retractions of questioned or fraudulent research even if the lead author or co-authors have not submitted or approved such statements said a top official of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.

"Journal editors have a responsibility to keep the scientific record clear," said Edward J. Huth, a physician and North American coordinator for the international committee. Last month the group published a statement on retractions of research findings in the British Medical Journal and in the Annals of Internal Medicine, of which Huth is editor.

The statement declared that, if fraudulent or erroneous research has been published in a journal, "the editor should be promptly informed of the final decision, and...the journal must print a retraction."

In an interview, Huth said that research found to be questionable or fradulent by a legitimate institution...such as the scientists university...must be followed...

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