They’re just beginning to haunt Australia.

At least one article submitted to Australia’s leading medical journal in recent years was ”ghost written” by a writer employed by a drug or medical device company, its editor says.

Martin van der Weyden, editor of the Medical Journal of Australia, has called for a government-funded investigation into the influence that industry has on research papers.

However, he believes the problem in Australia is not nearly as bad as in North America, where there is a scandal over the extent of ghost writing in leading medical journals.

… Mr van der Weyden said pharmaceutical companies had a far smaller influence on research in Australia, but he had to stay on alert for telltale signs of their influence on submitted articles…

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5 Responses to “The Outback Ghosts”

  1. Bernard Carroll Says:

    GHOSTS DOWN UNDER

    Once a jolly bagman signed on to an article.
    Somebody else had prepared it for him.
    And he sang as he watched and waited till it was in print
    This will be a beaut right there on my CV.

    Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda,
    Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
    And he sang as he watched and waited till it was in print
    This will be a beaut right there on my CV.

    Up came an editor, looking for the telltale signs.
    Ghost writing’s hard to cover up, you see.
    And he found them in the document, tracking changes to their source,
    So, Pharma paid to make this up and pass it off on me.

    Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda,
    Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
    And he found them in the document, tracking changes to their source,
    So, Pharma paid to make this up and pass it off on me.

    Up jumped the bagman, pointing fingers right and left,
    You’ll never prove I didn’t write it, said he.
    And his ghost may be heard as you wander through the library,
    Could have been a beaut right there on my CV.

    Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda,
    Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
    And his ghost may be heard as you wander through the library,
    Could have been a beaut right there on my CV.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    This is fantastic, Barney. I actually considered titling my post Ghosting Matilda… But you’ve gone me so much better!

  3. Bernard Carroll Says:

    I like that. Go ahead and change the refrain to Ghosting Matilda. Barney.

  4. Bernard Carroll Says:

    Here is a reworking, along with Margaret’s title.

    GHOSTING MATILDA

    Once a jolly bagman signed on to an article.
    Corporate ghosts even promised him a fee.
    And he sang as he watched and waited till it was in print,
    This will be beaut right up there on my CV.

    Ghosting Matilda, ghosting Matilda,
    Who’ll come a-ghosting Matilda with me?
    And he sang as he watched and waited till it was in print
    This will be beaut right up there on my CV.

    Up came an editor, looking for the telltale signs.
    Ghost writing’s hard to cover up, you see.
    And he found them in the document, tracking changes to their source,
    Somebody paid for this and passed it off on me.

    Ghosting Matilda, ghosting Matilda,
    Who’ll come a-ghosting Matilda with me?
    And he found them in the document, tracking changes to their source,
    Somebody paid for this and passed it off on me.

    Up jumped the bagman, pointing fingers right and left,
    You’ll never prove I didn’t write it, said he.
    Now his ghost may be heard as you wander through the library,
    Could have been beaut right up there on my CV.

    Ghosting Matilda, ghosting Matilda,
    Who’ll come a-ghosting Matilda with me?
    Now his ghost may be heard as you wander through the library,
    Could have been beaut right up there on my CV.

  5. Keith Conners Says:

    Absolutely brilliant commentary! I plan to send it to the pharma company that just asked me to be an author on a paper they are preparing.

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