Scientific fraud appears to be far more common in medical research than previously thought, according to a brand-new report. To help combat the problem, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have developed a free computer program, called eTBLAST, that can scan medical databases for cases of plagiarism, reports the Globe and Mail of Toronto. The researchers used it to randomly search Medline, one of the largest online sources of medical research, and found about 9,000 duplicate articles with different authors. "In other words, potential plagiarism," said Harold Garner, the senior scientist in charge of the sleuthing effort. Garner noted that, in the past, it has been a challenge for journal editors to catch plagiarism, because they lacked the resources to check the huge body of medical literature. But the arrival of eTBLAST and similar computer programs developed by other research teams should make it easier to spot this form of misconduct. "We make eTBLAST available on the web for free at eTBLAST.org," he said, adding that the increased risk of being caught will hopefully act as a deterrent…

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