Stealing Into Print: Fraud, Plagiarism, and Misconduct in Scientific Publishing

Marcel C. LaFollette, Author
Marcel C. LaFollette, Author University of California Press $45 (293p) ISBN 978-0-520-07831-4
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
A spate of recent scandals attests to the relevance of this densely detailed review of scientific publishing by an associate research professor of science and technology policy at George Washington University. LaFollette ( Making Science Our Own ) notes that such new developments as electronic journals and the increasing tendency toward multiple authorship of scholarly papers seem to be straining the peer-review system beyond its capacity to prevent or detect fraud. But what can replace it? Neither whistle-blowing by associates nor accusations by self-appointed vigilantes (``nemesis figures''), she argues, will strengthen the scientific publishing process. Unfortunately, LaFollette gets so bogged down in the minutiae of the diverse disciplines that she never steps back to view the problem as a whole and suggest alternative solutions. Another flaw in this ambitious book is her failure to recognize the social and economic pressures that to a large extent have created scientific publishing's difficulties. ( Sept. )
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