Hyperactivity in children: the Gillberg Affair

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 09 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a747

Our attention has been drawn to an inaccuracy in this Feature article published by the BMJ on 25 August 2007 (BMJ 2007;335:370-3 doi: 10.1136/bmj.39304.486146.AD).

The inaccuracy appears in the sentence that reads: “Although Professor Ottosson felt that some of Professor Kärfve’s criticisms were unjustified and ‘sometimes based on misunderstanding,’ and that the tone of Brain Ghosts was ‘confrontational’ and ‘insinuating,’ both men agreed that the book was polemical criticism rather than research and that, therefore, Professor Kärfve could not be guilty of breaching good research practice.”

We wish to make it clear that, while the Swedish Research Council expressed no view, both Professor Vagero and Professor Ottosson reported that many, but not all, of Professor Kärfve’s criticisms of the research performed by Professor Gillberg and his team were justified. Furthermore, neither Professor Vagero nor Professor Ottosson criticised Professor Kärfve’s own research as presented in the book nor did they conclude that the three passages that they were asked to examine from Professor Karfve’s book constituted scientific misconduct.

We apologise for any misunderstanding that has arisen.

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