Publisher error removes industry conflicts in vaccine paper

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 3.39.02 PM

An article about the use of vaccines against pertussis — also known as whooping cough — didn’t include the fact that the author has received grants and consultancy fees from three pharmaceutical companies that help make or sell the vaccines.

The correction to “Pertussis in young infants: a severe vaccine-preventable disease,” published in Autopsy and Case Reports just a few months after the paper, cites a “desktop publishing error” that led to the following problems:

-Missing competing interests disclosure paragraph.

-Wrong section name.

The correction spells out these missing competing interests:

On page 4 where you read:


No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.

You should read:


MAP Safadi has received grants to support research projects and consultancy fees from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Novartis, and Sanofi Pasteur.

No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.

All three of the companies listed in the new disclosure make or help make whooping cough vaccines. The paper has not been cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The editor in chief of the journal, Maria Claudia Nogueira Zerbini, told us the author had disclosed his ties to the companies:

The MS Word manuscript sent by the journal staff [to the publishing service] had the disclosure statement.

She told us the missing information was detected by the journal’s publishing software:

The problem was detected by the journal’s desktop publishing service provider (Editora Cubo) during quality assurance checking of the article’s XML to be sent for PMC deposit.

That same software was responsible for the error, she explained:

The error was that the production workflow used by Editora Cubo makes heavy use of MS Word character and paragraph styles during copy editing. These styles are later processed by scripts and macros inside Adobe InDesign in order to generate the PDF and inside MS Word to export the XML. Because the InDesign script was mis-configured it moved the disclosure statement paragraph to an area outside of the page resulting in the error.

We’ve contacted the author of the paper, Marco Aurélio Palazzi Sáfadi, who works at FCM da Santa Casa de São Paulo.

Like Retraction Watch? Consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support our growth. You can also follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, and sign up on our homepage for an email every time there’s a new post. Click here to review our Comments Policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.