SPECIAL COMMUNICATION Guest Authorship and Ghostwriting in Publications Related to Rofecoxib A Case Study of Industry Documents From Rofecoxib Litigation Joseph S. Ross, MD, MHS Kevin P. Hill, MD, MHS David S. Egilman, MD, MPH Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM A UTHORSHIP IN BIOMEDICAL publication provides recog-nition while establishing ac-countability and responsibil-ity. Guest authorship has been defined as the designation of an individual who does not meet authorship criteria as an author. 1,2 It was identified in 16% of re-search articles, 26% of review articles, and 21% of editorials in a survey of 6 peer-reviewed medical journals, 3 in ad-dition to 41% of Cochrane reviews. 4 Ghostwriting has been defined as the failure to designate an individual (as an author) who has made a substantial contribution to the research or writ-ing of a manuscript. 1 Ghostwriting was demonstrated in 13% of research ar-ticles, 10% of review articles, 6% of edi-torials, and 11% of Cochrane re-views 3,4 ; other research has found similar rates. 5 Two studies have characterized the practices of guest authorship and ghost-writing using industry documents, one examining practices related to gaba-pentin by Pfizer Inc and Parke-Davis, Division of Warner-Lambert Com-
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