Fake research at PGI: Journal starts its own investigation

  • Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2014 11:28 IST

In the fake research case at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Reserach (PGIMER), Chandigarh, which was reported by HT last month, the journal that published the study has started its own investigation.

In response to HT reports, Dr Hemant Jain, the chief editor of Delhi-based Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, said that it was a very serious matter, so as per the procedure, a team of three editors would sit and evaluate the claim and counter claim. “If found that the article was fake then it will be retracted and the author will be blacklisted,” he said.

He said that in this case, the copyright was presented and properly signed by all the authors. “One of the authors was HOD and professor of the same department. Whenever we have any doubt with regard to originality of the work, we write and confirm from the HoD. If the HoD agrees to the data, only then we proceed,” he said.

The HT on July 28 and July 30 had highlighted how the drug information unit (DIU) at the PGIMER, received just one call in three years from 2011 to 2013. But, a research paper published by three doctors of the department of pharmacology, which runs the unit, claimed having received 56 calls in one month. Quite contrary to this, the DIU received only 53 calls since its inception in 2003. The unit addresses queries of doctors over phone related to various drugs and their adverse reactions. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research last year.

Two resident doctors — Dr Pugazhenthan Thangaraju and Dr Hararmanjit Singh — and professor and head Dr Amitava Chakrvarty, published a study titled “Short Communication: Drug Information Unit as an Effective Tool for Promoting Rational Drug Use”.

The study, supposedly conducted in 2013, was based on the calls received at the DIU that too at a time when the unit was actually lying defunct.

Interestingly, the years during which the study was claimed to have been conducted, even the dedicated telephone line of the DIU was lying defunct.

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