Table 1

Ethics Dilemmas in Psychiatric Publishing Identified by Walter et al.30,31

Type of Ethics DilemmaExamples
Redundant publicationIdentical (or near-identical) papers relating to antidepressant trials were published by the same research group in two different journals.
Two papers by the same authors about neurotransmitter levels in schizophrenia appeared in different publications around the same time, with contradictory results.
Publication of fraudulent researchA researcher who reported that tranquilizers were more harmful to children with mental retardation than stimulants was later found never to have conducted any studies.
PlagiarismA graduate student plagiarized an entire paper on the differential diagnosis of dementia.
A section of an article on insulin binding in anorexia nervosa was copied by a referee of the paper.
An academic psychiatrist resigned after it was discovered that he had plagiarized large sections of articles that he had reviewed.
An article reporting on a treatment for tics and ADHD was copied from an earlier article on another treatment for the same disorders.
A paper on equine-facilitated psychotherapy for children was copied from a Master's thesis.
AuthorshipAn author published an article on genetics of schizophrenia in “Nature” without naming some co-investigators as authors.
Insensitive use of languageTerms such as “schizophrenogenic mother,” “refrigerator parent,” and “adolescent turmoil” may unintentionally cast blame or normalize abnormal behavior.
Conflict of interestA study suggesting a link between autism and the MMR vaccine was published by a researcher who did not disclose that the study was funded by lawyers representing parents of children who had allegedly been harmed by vaccine.
BiasAcademic rivalry and different conceptual approaches between authors, reviewers, and editors may lead to bias.