Table 1

Characteristics of primary publications reporting original evidence of ghostwriting

PublicationPopulationSurvey descriptionData collectedNRR
Cross-sectional surveys—authors or corresponding authors
Flanagin et al27Six general medicine journals*Self-administered, postal, anonymous, pretested, targeted199680969%
Mowatt et al23Published Cochrane reviewsSelf-administered, online, anonymous, pretested, targeted199936263%
Hao et al32 (Abstract)Chin Med JSelf-administered, email, not anonymous, targeted2008†22086%
Dotson and Slaughter28Three pharmacy journalsSelf-administered, online, anonymous, pretested, targeted200911225%
Mirzazadeh et al24Three Iranian journalsSelf-administered, email, not anonymous, targeted2009–2010NRNR
Wislar et al20Six general medicine journals‡Self-administered, online, anonymous, pretested, targeted200862270%
Ghajarzadeh26Arch Iran Med (based on student theses)Self-administered, email, anonymous, targeted2005–20073049%
Vinther and Rosenberg21Ugeskr Laeger and Dan Med JSelf-administered, online, anonymous, pretested, targeted201027262%
Cross-sectional surveys—healthcare professionals
Price et al22Health academic staffSelf-administered, postal, anonymous, pretested, targetedNR16659%
Rees et al31(Abstract)Registered users of EPG OnlineSelf-administered, online, anonymous, non-targetedNR295NR
Cross-sectional surveys—members of medical writing associations
Jacobs and Hamilton25EMWA/AMWA membersSelf-administered, online, anonymous, pretested, non-targeted2005
Hamilton and Jacobs 201233(Abstract)EMWA/AMWA membersSelf-administered, online, anonymous, pretested, non-targeted201162012% §
Publication reviews and descriptive analysis
Healy and Cattell6Articles on sertralineNA1998–200096NA
Gøtzsche et al30Articles on Danish industry-initiated trials approved 1994–1995NANR44NA
Ross et al8Reviews on rofecoxib associated with Merck supportNA1996–200472NA
Suda et al29Non-inferiority clinical trialsNA1989–2009583NA
  • *Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA, the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Cardiology, American Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  • †Submission date.

  • Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA, the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Nature Medicine, PLoS Medicine.

  • §Personal communication, C Hamilton.

  • AMWA, American Medical Writers Association; EMWA, European Medical Writers Association; NA, not applicable; NR, not reported; RR, response rate.