WASHINGTON-A still-unpublished paper by two NIH scientists on professional misconduct has spawned sharp debate within the scientific community on the responsibilities of co-authors and the role of lawyers in the publications process.
The authors of the 1983 report, Walter Stewart and Ned Feder, have appeared in recent months before two congressional committees and a steadily growing number of university gatherings to discuss their findings and the larger issues it has raised. But the possibility of lawsuits from a few of the principals discussed in the study so far has prevented the details of the Stewart-Feder paper from becoming known to the audience the authors most want to reach-their colleagues.

The authors based their study on public records in the case of John Darsee, a cardiology re searcher at Emory University and Harvard University medical schools. One incident of fraud in 1981 that he admitted led to investigations by both universities...

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