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Letters Honorary and ghost authorship

Why not switch to movie-style credits for research papers?

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 10 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e179

Re: Why not switch to movie-style credits for research papers?

Dear Editors,

This is a very good idea.

Unfortunately, it can easily get bypassed by unethical researchers.

I can imagine those despotic Greek University Professors, who have already evolved inbreeding, nepotism, plagiarism and "guest author" publishing into a fine art [1][2][3], continue to arbitrary allocate research credits to sons, daughters, wives and political party members.

Who is going to question the "extended family and friends research team" that persistently and exclusively appears on every paper published by their Department?

Who is going to argue that a list of 35 researchers is too long for a paper that merely analyzes statistically the clinical data of 400 patients?

Which European Community official will dare to ask if these long lists of scientists are only an excuse to obtain more research funds?

Which European Community official will ever come in Greece, visit University Departments, and find out that most of the staff has family ties?

Which Medical Journal Editor will ever investigate how many of the hundreds of Greek researchers that appear on the pages of their Journal can even speak the English language?

If these appalling phenomena cannot be successfully addressed, research fraud will continue to exist.


[1] Extensive inbreeding, nepotism, plagiarism and "guest author" publishing in Greek University Medical Schools, Stavros Saripanidis’ Rapid Response in:

[2] Medical research in Greece has no strategy, no formal standards, no evaluation procedures, no transparency, no evaluation of research staff, no ranking body, but instead heavy bureaucracy pervades, Stavros Saripanidis’ Rapid Responses in:

[3] Greek academia is plagued by inbreeding, nepotism, conflicts of interest, partisan politics, Professor Synolakis letter to Nature:

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 January 2012
Stavros Saripanidis
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Private Surgery
Thessaloniki, Greece