Communications to the Editor |

Duplicate Publication Duplicate Publication Duplicate Publication FREE TO VIEW

A. Jay Block, MD, FCCP
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Affiliations: Editor-in-Chief CHEST ,  Editor-in-Chief, CHEST Emeritus Professor of Medicine University of Florida Gainesville, FL ,  Medical Intensive Care Unit Charles Nicolle University Hospital Rouen, France

Chest. 1999;115(5):1479. doi:10.1378/chest.115.5.1479
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Editor’s Note:

The following two letters are self-explanatory. Instead of punishing these authors by banning them from publishing in CHEST, I offered the alternative of publishing their names. They have chosen this option, which alerts future authors that transgressions may become public knowledge. The editors of Thorax have chosen their own method of dealing with this problem, and it will be described in an editorial in that journal. Duplicate publication will not be tolerated by medical journal editors.

Dear Dr. Girault:

The editors of Thorax have called my attention to a possible duplicate publication in Thorax (1997; 52:690–696) and CHEST (1997; 111:1639–1648). You are the author of both publications, and they were submitted to both journals at about the same time.

I have recently written about duplicate publication and the punishments for it in CHEST (1998; 114:951). I enclose a copy of this publication. I also enclose a copy of the “Instructions to Authors” checklist, published every month in our journal, that you should have read. It states, “No part of the work has been published previously other than in abstract form and the manuscript has not been submitted concurrently to another journal.” You have clearly violated this requirement.

I have read both manuscripts and I see that you stressed the comparison of assist-control ventilation (ACV) to spontaneous breathing in the Thorax paper and there was no pressure support ventilation (PSV) group. In the CHEST paper, you stressed the comparison between the two types of nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation (ACV and PSV). Nevertheless, the patients studied were identical, as were the measurements made. To be completely ethical, you should have published one paper with all the data in it. This is an example of “salami” publication, where one study is sliced up to make multiple publications. You did not even note in either bibliography that the other study was pending publication in the other journal, suggesting that you wished to hide this fact.

I will give you a chance to explain your actions. The enclosed editorial suggests various punishments for duplicate publication. I do not think these manuscripts are exactly duplicate, but you have not been forthright with the various editors of these journals. An apology is certainly in order.

Correspondence to: A. Jay Block, MD, FCCP, Seagle Building, Suite 408, 408 West University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601; e-mail: chestmag@aol.com

Dear Dr. Block:

We the authors acknowledge the receipt of your letter regarding the possible duplicate publication in Thorax (1997; 52:690–696) and CHEST (1997; 111:1639–1648). You will also find enclosed, herewith, a copy of our letter in reply to the questions raised by Dr. John Britton and Dr. Alan Knox.

First, we sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding that may have been caused by the above mentioned publications. It was never our intention to produce a duplicate publication because in fact, the original objectives of the two manuscripts were different. In the article published in Thorax, we compared the physiological effects and the influence on respiratory comfort of assist-control ventilation (ACV) during noninvasive ventilation (NIV) to those of spontaneous breathing. In contrast, in the article published in CHEST, we attempted to determine the most appropriate mode of ventilation during NIV by comparing the two modes used (ACV and pressure support ventilation). This seemed to us to regroup different physiological aspects regarding a vast field of research which constitutes NIV.

Nevertheless, since receiving both letters from Thorax and CHEST, we have read the various articles in the literature regarding redundant publications. We are now conscious that the Editors could interpret our publications as redundant. However, as the material was similar, but the objectives and the statistical method different, therefore, it did not obviously appear to us to specifically inform either journal. As you also pointed out in your letter, with hindsight, our greatest error was certainly to not submit both manuscripts to the same Editor.

We would like to stress that we are particularly disconcerted and deeply upset by this correspondence. We ask you to accept our sincere apology for any inconvenience caused by the publication of these articles. We would also like to reassure you that this error was completely unintentional. We remain at your disposal for further information.

Correspondence to: Christophe Girault, MD, Service de Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Charles Nicolle, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire de Rouen, 76031 Rouen cedex, France




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