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More than 20% of articles have a “guest” author, study shows

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3783 (Published 15 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3783

Evidence of extensive inbreeding, nepotism, plagiarism and "guest author" publishing in Greek University Medical Schools

Dear Editor,

In my Country nepotism, inbreeding, corruption, lack of transparency
and plagiarism widely involve Universities. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
[7]

University Professors hire relatives of blood or marriage to fill
academic vacancies, especially in Medical Schools.

Plagiarism and "guest author" publishing are used to provide valuable
"impact factor points" to sons, daughters, wives or nephews that are to be
promoted.

Often these favoured "co-authors" work in other Greek cities, other
Departments or even abroad, yet they appear as active members of the
clinical research team!

When they share the same surname, inbreeding is obvious.

Major prestigious medical journals, like BMJ, should insist in
receiving detailed information on every author before publication and
scrutinize his/her contribution to the study.

Deputy Education Minister Yiannis Panaretos found "illegalities of an
unprecedented extent" in Greek Universities. He felt the need to inform
personally the Greek President. [4] [7]

Hundreds of academic appointments or promotions within universities
have been cancelled or suspended. [3]

Many Universities refused to provide data on suspicious appointments,
even after the third written query from the Ministry of Education! [2]

Nobody will ever know the exact extent of residual inbreeding,
nepotism, plagiarism and "guest author" publishing in Greek
Universities...

These unfortunate conditions demoralize the young and propel them
leave the Country, in tens of thousands, to study abroad. [1]

[1]
http://portal.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_kathextra_100049_11/10/20...

[2]
http://archive.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_2_09/11/2010_...

[3] http://newpost.gr.dedi1177.your-server.de/English/item/6976-
Justice-to-investigate-allegations-of-nepotism-in-Athens-university-dept

[4] http://www.hri.org/news/greek/ana/2010/10-12-02.ana.html#15

[5] http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/14/34502

[6] http://www.athensnews.gr/issue/13429/37123

[7] http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/36349

Competing interests: Stavros Saripanidis is the only licensed medical doctor in his family. He has neither blood nor family ties to any Greek University Professor. After this publication, he will probably never have...

03 August 2011
Stavros Saripanidis
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Greece
Private Sector, 55131