Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (2):783-792 (2020)

The purpose of this study was to evaluate recognition of pathologists and radiologists as coauthors in case reports in the field of surgical oncology. The MEDLINE database was searched for all full free text case reports involving human material published from April 1, 2011 until March 31, 2016, using search terms: “case report” + “tumors” + “surgery” + “malignant”. The search strategy identified a total of 1427 case reports of which 907 were included in this analysis. Of 807 articles with histopathological images and/or descriptions, 352 did not acknowledge or include the pathologist as a coauthor. Of 662 case reports with radiographic images and/or their description, 537 did not list the radiologist as coauthor nor acknowledge them. In case reports containing histopathological images, significantly more pathologists were either listed as coauthors or acknowledged compared to those who were not. However, among case reports containing radiographic images, there were significantly less articles either listing radiologists as coauthors or acknowledging them compared to a larger proportion of articles in which radiologists were omitted. In conclusion, pathologists and radiologists are underrecognized as coauthors in surgical oncology case reports in spite of obvious proof of their contribution to manuscript preparation. When involved in research and publishing, all physicians should be aware of fair and honest collaboration with specialists in other clinical and non-clinical disciplines to better serve the scientific community.
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-019-00125-z
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