Fostering Integrity in Research endorses the current federal definition of research misconduct as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism (FFP), while asserting that many practices labeled as “questionable research practices” should be more clearly described as detrimental to research. Collectively, these “detrimental research practices” may be more damaging to research than FFP. For example, papers with “guest” authors who have not worked on a paper, or “ghost” authors who worked on a paper but are not listed as authors, undermine the system of fairly assigning credit for the research and can shield conflicts of interest. Journals should set clear authorship standards and specify that detrimental authorship practices are always unacceptable.
High time! The IEEE and engineering discipline could take note as well. My experience in the last few years has been very disturbing. It seems like the “wheel is being reinvented” rather blatantly in this age of easily finding information on the web. And regrettably it is not limited to obscure authors either. I can think of several examples of well-established and well-known researchers indulging in this practice! And “guest authors” are far too many!
Check out (www.nap.edu/catalog/21896/) for the report from NAS.