Misrepresentation of research citations by applicants to a primary care sports medicine fellowship program in the United States.

Document Type


Publication Date



Sports Medicine

Journal Title

Clinical journal of sport medicine : official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine

MeSH Headings

Deception, Fellowships and Scholarships, Humans, Maine, Primary Health Care, Publishing, Research, Retrospective Studies, Sports Medicine, United States


OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of misrepresentation of publications and national presentations claimed in applications to the Maine Medical Center (MMC) Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Program from 2001 through 2004.

DESIGN: A retrospective chart review study.

SETTING: The Maine Medical Center Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Program.

METHODS: Presentations were confirmed in the program of the cited meeting or by contacting the sponsoring organization. Publications were verified by performing a MEDLINE search or by cross-referencing in Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory. If the title was listed, the citation was verified by contacting the publisher.

RESULTS: Fifty applicants reported research publications. Of those, 14 applications had publications that could not be verified. The overall misrepresentation rate was 11.3%; among applicants claiming publications it was 28%. There was no difference in misrepresentation rate between specialties. Eighteen applicants reported giving national presentations, and nine presentations could not be verified, corresponding to an overall misrepresentation rate of 5.6%. Of applicants claiming presentations, 38.9% had at least one misrepresentation.

CONCLUSION: Applicants to the Maine Medical Center Sports Medicine Fellowship Program were found to have high rates of misrepresentation in their citations of both publications and presentations.



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