Have editors got their priorities right?BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7423.1113 (Published 06 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1113
- Annabel Ferriman, news editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Whistleblower claims they are more worried about being sued for libel than about ensuring research is valid
Journal editors are much more frightened of being sued for libel by academics or drug companies than they are of publishing fraudulent research, the whistleblower Peter Wilmshurst claimed last week.
And he should know. He has spent the last 25 years of his life trying to expose cases of research misconduct (reporting more than 20 doctors to the General Medical Council), and has found it an uphill struggle. His career has suffered and he has received many brickbats and few bouquets.
Dr Wilmshurst, a consultant cardiologist at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital NHS Trust, was describing his experiences to the annual meeting of HealthWatch, an organisation set up to campaign against health fraud. Television presenter Nick Ross presented him with the organisation's annual award for his courage in challenging misconduct in medical research.
Dr Wilmshurst explained how he knew that journal editors were more worried by libel …