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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 140-145

Knowledge of scientific misconduct in publication among medical students

1 Department of Community Health Sciences, Hamdard College of Medicine and Dentistry, Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan
2 Department of Medicine, Shalamar Hospital Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan
3 Department of Medicine, Arif Memorial Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
4 Final Year MBBS Student Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan
5 Department of Medicine, Civil Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Syed Muhammad Mubeen
Hamdard College of Medicine and Dentistry, Hamdard University, Madinat Al-Hikmah, Mohammad Bin Qasim Avenue, Karachi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_221_16

Background: Publication is a central element in research dissemination and scientific misconduct in publication is relatively ignored in biomedical research. This study is to assess the knowledge of scientific misconduct in publication among private and public sector medical students. Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was carried in four (two public and two private) medical colleges of Karachi in 2015. After ethical approval, data were collected through convenient sampling and analyzed in SPSS 16.0. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize the data and Chi-square test was used for cross tabulation with sex, type of medical colleges, and knowledge of scientific misconduct in publication. Results: A total of 592 medical students participated with mean age of 22.2 ± 1.47 years. The majority (491, 79%) of medical students had heard about the word “publication ethics,” higher among public sector students than from private sector (P < 0.001). Only 78 (13.2%) reported to had published original articles, and 64 (10.8%) and 53 (9%) medical students had heard of “ICMJE authorship criteria” and “COPE,” respectively. Knowledge about fabrication of data and scientific misconduct in publication was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05) among males than female students. Statistically significant differences were also observed between public and private medical students for knowledge regarding salami slicing, ghost author, fabrication, and photomanipulation (P < 0.001) and for plagiarism (P < 0.005). Participants from public sector colleges scored significantly better in all above variables than private medical colleges except knowledge about salami slicing in which participants from latter performed significantly better than public sector students. Discussion: The study demonstrates deficiencies in knowledge regarding several aspects of publication ethics among medical students of both public and private medical colleges in Karachi. There is a need to increase the awareness of research and publication ethics among students during their academic years.

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