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Arch Hellen Med, 34(5), September-October 2017, 700-704


The knowledge of medical students about publication ethics

I.Z. Lazaridou,1 M. Perente-Memet,1 M.E. Zachou,1 A. Mavroforou,2 M.K. Lazarides1
1Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis
2University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece

OBJECTIVE Global literature reflects a growing concern over research misconduct, which has been referred to as a "disease" of modern science. Although intent to deceive is the central aspect of publication misconduct, some cases involving novices might derive from simple ignorance or limited knowledge. This study investigated the level of knowledge regarding the rules and ethics of scientific writing among undergraduate and postgraduate medical students.

METHOD A survey was conducted among undergraduate and postgraduate medical students (n=136) by means of a closed questionnaire consisting of 9 questions, 5 of which pertained to students' views on current publication ethics. A scoring system based on the answers was developed to evaluate the level of knowledge of scientific publishing (minimum 5 – maximum 25).

RESULTS The mean score of the respondents was 16.9±2.2 and limited knowledge was noted, specifically concerning redundant publications. Only 16% of the respondents already had publication experience and only 18.5% had been taught about the relevant topics. No significant difference in score was found between undergraduate and postgraduate students nor between those with and those without publications, but those who had been taught about relevant topics had a significantly higher mean score than those who had no relevant teaching (p=0.01).

CONCLUSIONS The knowledge of medical students on publication ethics was relatively good, but limited awareness was noted in certain areas. Education on publication ethics is recommended as part of the medical school course, affording this issue the weight it deserves.

Key words: Authorship disputes, Duplicate publication, Plagiarism, Publication ethics, Survey.

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