Journal Launches Biomedical Research Initiative

Annals of Internal Medicine's reproducible research initiative set to start on or after April 1, 2007

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Starting April 1, 2007, the Annals of Internal Medicine will call upon its authors to declare whether or not they will share their data with other scientists so that the original research can be reproduced, according to an announcement published in the March 20 issue of the journal.

Christine Laine, M.D., M.P.H., of the American College of Physicians in Philadelphia, and colleagues developed the new initiative to better protect against the publication of misleading or false research. Several major journals have recently retracted fraudulent studies, but the authors "emphasize that the main purpose of this new initiative is to promote the scientific process, not to deter fraud."

Every original article in the journal will include a statement that tells readers if the study protocol, data or statistical code will be available and under what terms. Sharing will not be mandatory, nor will it influence the journal's editorial decisions. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Science and Nature are also establishing similar policies.

The new initiative can "protect the public against any long-term adverse effects of research gone wrong," the study authors point out.

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