Thought-provoking Article Published in the Peer-reviewed Journal, European Endocrinology on Freedom of Science – Can Industry Influence What Scientists Publish?

European Endocrinology, the peer-reviewed journal, publish thought provoking article authored by Ralph Ziegler, Oliver Schnell, Bernd Kulzer, James Gilbart & Lutz Heinemann on Freedom of Science – Can Industry Influence What Scientists Publish?

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The right of scientists to publish data from their preclinical and clinical studies is a much-cherished principle and is vital to the freedom of science.

(PRWEB UK) 3 June 2014

European Endocrinology, the peer-reviewed journal, publish thought provoking article authored by Ralph Ziegler, Oliver Schnell, Bernd Kulzer, James Gilbart & Lutz Heinemann on Freedom of Science – Can Industry Influence What Scientists Publish?

The right of scientists to publish data from their preclinical and clinical studies is a much-cherished principle and is vital to the freedom of science. Indeed, full and candid reporting of results is essential for scientific advancement; without such disclosure research work would have much diminished purpose and no impact outside the centre or organisation where the work was conducted. Prevention of publication preserves ignorance and may cause other researchers to needlessly repeat work. This is also unethical as it requires that human beings are exposed to a certain risk associated with such studies again without need.

Data are considered to merit publication when they are regarded by journal editors as novel, valid, derived using correct study designs and methods and are correctly interpreted. They are then subject to a wholly independent, unbiased and anonymous peer-review process.3–5 This strict but essentially fair system, however, has recently been threatened when published papers that show results from studies that involve commercial products were perceived by the manufacturer to potentially harm their market position by the negative or unflattering results presented. In such instances, commercial organisations have attempted to block publication or force retraction of articles by taking legal action against the authors and their institutions. The purpose of this article will be to consider the right to publish in science, review cases in which commercial bodies have attempted to block this right and assess the damaging effects on scientific freedom when such action is taken.

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