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Interface between authorship, industry and science in the domain of therapeutics

  • David Healy (a1) and Dinah Cattell (a1)
Abstract
Background

Changes in the character of medical authorship.

Aims

To compare the impact of industry-linked and non-industry linked articles.

Method

We compared articles on sertraline being coordinated by a medical writing agency with articles not coordinated in this way. We calculated numbers of Medline-listed articles per author, journal impactfactors, literature profiles and citation rates of both sets of articles.

Results

Non-agency-linked articles on sertraline had an average of 2.95 authors per article, a mean length of 3.4 pages, a mean Medline listing of 37 articles per author (95% CI 27–47) and a mean literature profile of 283 per article (95% CI 130–435). Agency-linked articles on sertraline had an average of 6.6 authors per article, a mean length of 10.7 pages, a mean Medline listing of 70 articles per author (95% CI 62–79) and a mean literature profile of 1839 per article (95% CI 1076-2602). The citation rate for agency articles was 20.2 (95% CI 13.4–27.0) and for non-agency articles it was 3.7 (95% CI 3.3–8.1).

Conclusions

The literature profiles and citation rates of industry-linked and non-industry-linked articles differ. The emerging style of authorship in industry-linked articles can deliver good-quality articles, but it raises concerns for the scientific base of therapeutics.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
David Healy, North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Bangor, Wales LL57 2PW UK. Tel: 01248 384452; fax: 01248 371397; e-mail: Healy_Hergest@compuserve.com
Footnotes
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See editorial, pp. 3–4, this issue.

Declaration of interest

D.H. has had consultancies or other links with all major pharmaceutical companies.

Footnotes
References
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  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Interface between authorship, industry and science in the domain of therapeutics

  • David Healy (a1) and Dinah Cattell (a1)
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