Publication misconduct includes a range of unethical behaviours such as plagiarism, breach of confidence and inappropriate authorship. The most egregious cases are easy to recognize and widely condemned, but the gradient between normal and unethical behaviour is often a gradual one. Clinicians and researchers should be aware of the full spectrum of publication misconduct and understand that some widely accepted practices may be unethical. This paper describes the various types of publication misconduct and offers guidance to authors, reviewers and journal editors about ways to detect and prevent them.

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