Beware the Faux Medical Journals

When is a “Journal” … not a Journal?

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™


Allow me to begin this post by making the unusual disclosure that I was the Editor-in-Chief of a print guide in healthcare finance and economics [aka periodical or journal].

Formally, the title was: Healthcare Organizations [Financial Management Strategies]. At 2 volumes, and more than 1,200 pages, it was quite a job to update it quarterly. And, with more than two dozen contributing authors, it was a labor of love indeed. Alas … no more!


Varying Levels of Credibility

Now, we doctors know that medical journals are not all alike. There are different levels of “credibility.” Some are peer-reviewed, others not. Some are trade magazines. Frankly, some “real” journals are better, and more respected than others. Some entrenched journals are in decline, while other emerging journals are leading-edge in the health 2.0 space. Still others, like the formerly esteemed Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA], have been accused of outright censorship.



Of course, doctors also know that pharmaceutical companies routinely offer us reprints of articles from medical journals that are favorable to their products. But, news of a Merck-sponsored publication for doctors in Australia has come to light in a personal injury lawsuit over Vioxx. It raised more than a few eyebrows in international medical publishing circles. It may have even crossed the line of journalistic, not to mention medical, ethics.

Read: Merck Paid for Medical ‘Journal’ Without Disclosure; by Natasha Singer, May 13, 2009.



Tracy Staton wrote more about these mis-adventures in a story, dated May 14, 2009, in FiercePharma.

Analysis and Apology

Analysis in the Pipeline:

Libology Mea Culpa:


Perhaps; Merck ought to read our Medical-Executive Post on health journalists?


Or, our Medical-Executive Post on medical experts, reporters and journalists?



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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact:


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