Editorial| Volume 45, ISSUE 12, P1173-1174, December 2020

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Author Misconduct

      Readers of the Journal of Hand Surgery may be aware of an editorial that recently appeared in the Journal of Hand Surgery European Volume, together with a statement from that journal’s publisher describing the retraction of a series of articles. As the editorial states, the authors of these papers have also had their work published in a number of other journals, including the Journal of Hand Surgery. These allegations were first made known to me in October 2019. They included concerns about data integrity and about the research practices of these authors, specifically as they related to institutional review board approval. Over the next 2 months, I carried out an investigation, the scope of which included discussions with the 3 authors implicated in the alleged wrongdoing. I asked them to specifically respond to the charges made against them of anomalies in their institutional review board approvals, authorship and most importantly, of data falsification. I also attempted to contact the institutions involved, but that proved to be unsuccessful. Later I was able to obtain copies of the institutional review board approvals for the studies published in the Journal of Hand Surgery and to evaluate them myself.
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