Cello Scrotum, Guitar Nipple: Docs Fess Up to Invented Conditions

"In the old days people used to turn in single case reports more," explained Delamothe, adding that, today, the BMJ looks for larger studies with more evidence to publish. "People are very turned off by single case reports now," he said.

If something were to turn up as fabricated, Delamothe said the BMJ resorts to a retraction, which can seriously hurt a researcher's career.

"It's a real big thing to print a retraction," said Delamothe. "It's very rare. I think it's probably [done] about once every five years."

Besides, Delamothe said doctors have a chance to get notoriety by entering oddball research into their annual Christmas edition.

"We tend to be jokey at Christmas," said Delamothe, citing an example this year of research on the physics of head banging. "They're true (at Christmas), but it's a long way from the traditional fare of medical journals.

"We get enough genuine wacky stuff without making it up," he said.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Oscar de la Renta and Oprah Winfrey attend the Costume Institute Gala Benefit to celebrate the opening of the American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 8, 2010, in New York City.
Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage/Getty Images
PHOTO: Up in Ash: Mount Sinabung Erupting
Tibt Nangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Firefighters rescue a woman who got stuck in a chimney in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ventura County Fire Department
PHOTO: Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters on Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo