Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A journal editor does at least one right thing - well done Professor John A Eisman

fog at JBMRI posted previously about the attempt by the Editor of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (JBMR) to inhibit discussion about scientific misconduct and false declarations by authors of a published paper in JBMR (Richard Eastell et al. 2003 J.Bone.Miner.Res. 18:1051-6) as well as two draft publications and several meeting abstracts purportedly written by myself. That previous posting is reproduced below.

The editor, Professor John Eisman had agreed to present his case at the 3rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP, April 23 – 25, 2007, Philadelphia, PA). The meeting program is here. Thank you ISMPP for encouraging honest discussion about scientific procedure and publication ethics.

Update: However I now understand that Professor Eisman was "instructed" by someone not to attend. I have nothing to hide, and avoiding open honest discussion seems quite inappropriate Professor Eisman. Incredible.

Nevertheless Professor Eisman may be willing to read the evidence bundle, the independent statistical reports and the various corrected publications. He might even want to comment on the latest antics of Dr Purple at Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals and how that would be viewed by him as an honest editor. I will be detailing the various attempts of several parties to prevent the matter from being raised, and to allow those accused of misconduct (including a pharmaceutical company) to "independently" investigate themselves.

This is a meeting of medical writers (sometimes ghostwriters), perhaps not the most challenging of audiences. However I have always felt that over-emphasis on the problem of ghostwriting diverts attention from the more important problem of ghosted science. Medical writers do have a relevant role under proper circumstances, but under some circumstances they provide an easy conduit for scientific misconduct. The byline of the meeting is "Ensuring Integrity in Medical Publications: Conflicts, Credibility & Collaboration" and I will be reporting on the how the meeting addresses those goals.

"There is a demand today
for men who can make wrong appear right."
- Terence

I have a very old fashioned idea - that Medical Journal Editors should go about their business with as much objectivity and integrity as possible. They should act in the interests of the patients we serve. The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (JBMR) is seeking a new editor to replace Professor John A. Eisman, MBBS, Ph.D. To apply, see here.

Editors wanting hints as to how to react when approached with concerns about research misconduct involving a major pharmaceutical sponsor and fellow friendly scientists, see the John A. Eisman approach. First try protracted delay. Then try meaningless gibberish, followed by excuses (or exasperation) when asked to reply properly. Then edit a letter of concern to remove all content, and offer to publish it giving a pharmaceutical company the right to respond. Express surprise when the offer is refused. Then decline to review any evidence at all, offering lame excuses. Decline to read statistical reports. Decline to read correspondence relating to denial of access to data. Decine to read anything relating to the concerns raised. Then suggest that those implicated will arrange for the concerns to be addressed. Good trick! It is always a good idea to address concerns that are different from those raised. When the matter reaches the press, write statements so at variance with your previous correspondence that it is hard not to laugh out loud. For collated correspondence and press statements see here. For press see here.

Will the JBMR eventually publish the truth about these three publications and how they came to be? Perhaps not. But then - who cares. Third rate conflicted medical journals that snuggle up to vested interests are steadily losing relevance.

Perhaps the new editor will join me in calling for Procter and Gamble to allow authors (including myself as first author of two of the three intended P&G publications) to make the raw data from the three publications publicly available. So far P&G have declined to allow that. I wonder why that might be?

Alternatively perhaps Professor John A. Eisman would care to perform a teensy tiny statistical analysis himself. He might even consider reading the statistical reports he was offered. Perhaps he would even care to review the evidence with me. Of course there is nothing whatever to hide Professor Eisman - or is there...

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Anonymous said...

I have met John Eisman and he seemed like a nice man. However I have read you E-mail interaction with him and I realized that even nice people can behave in an incredible way. The JBMR should be consigned to the scrapheap of dustbin conflicted journals.

x said...

I believe that he is doing what ostritches do on a regular basis.
Either that or he is hiding under his duvet away from you.

Facing up to one's problems is psychologically difficult. It seems that for this man it is becoming impossible. You know what they say - the sooner the better :).

So John, perhaps we could all be grown ups here and you could face up to the current problems because they aint going away mate :)

Dr Rita Pal

Anonymous said...

John Eisman is an ostrich. This boil is just getting bigger. P&G has to do something about that "statement of concern". I suspect the boil will burst spewing pus if they try to lie their way out of this.