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Publications and Honesty

November 22, 2013

Interesting article in Academic Medicine (Acad Med. 2013 Nov;88(11):1719-22) regarding publications in ERAS applications. Duke University Medical Center investigators reviewed the 628 applications for their radiology residency program and found that a substantial number (82%) of them had listed publications on the ERAS application. Not surprising as radiology is very very competitive and Duke is a premier program. Applicants listed 1,431 manuscripts, 952 “published,” 64 “in press,” 95 “accepted,” 27 “provisional accepted,” and 293 “submitted.”

What was disheartening was what the investigators noted in their abstract:

“More than half of those listed as “submitted,” and approximately one-third of those listed as “accepted,” “in press,” or “provisional accepted,” remained unpublished after two years.” (Grimm LJ, Maxfield CM. Acad Med. 2013 Nov;88(11):1719-22)

What does this mean? I know from personal experience that not all papers submitted will appear in print, but half is quite high. What is more troubling is that 59 of the 186 manuscripts that were listed as “accepted,” “in press,” or “provisional accepted,” were not categorized appropriately. Any manuscript that is listed in this fashion should appear on PubMed within a year. It appears that candidates may be misrepresenting their publication record. I advise you to be honest as we have all seen fallout from loose handling of the truth. It only takes a phone call to the journal to determine if a manuscript is really “submitted”, “accepted,” “in press,” or “provisional accepted.” You should be very careful in what goes in to your application. As per ERAS, you must “Ensure that the information provided is accurate and truthful” on your application. Be honest.

The views expressed on this post are those of Kenneth Christopher, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer Partners HealthCare, his hospital, department or division.

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