Wall Street Journal Responds to Kuklo Citation Controversy in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery



I prefer the Nation, MSNBC or the Huffington Post but we will provide a relevant image.

I received an email from an esteemed Wall Street Journal reporter who requested confidentiality. This was the email I received from the reporter:

Sent: Thu 5/20/2010 12:06 PM
To: Kirstein, Peter N.
Subject: confidential question, please

Hi, Dr. Kirstein. I read your interesting post about the Kuklo citations. Quick question: I can’t quite tell for sure from your post, but the citations don’t appear to be of the phony article itself, do they? (Though I totally get your point about not citing him at all.)

Thanks and best,


My response:

From: Kirstein, Peter N.
Sent: Thu 5/20/2010 12:33 PM
To:                                                                                                                                       Subject: RE: confidential question, please


Your point is accurate and I did consider that carefully.  I don’t think it was the article “Recombinant human morphogenetic protein-2 for type grade III open segmental tibial fractures from combat injuries in Iraq,” by Colonel Kuklo and NOT by “A. T. Groth,”  “R. C. Anderson,”  “H. M. Frisch” and “R. B. Islinger.”

Yet I think it begs the question whether Dr Kuklo’s earlier research on similar topics of bone and joint issues can be construed as unbiased and consistent with academic best practices. I know this: I will not use ANY source by Doris Kearns Goodwin due to her history of plagiarism and buying the silence of her victims. I question whether the authors of the piece that I cite believed they could simply accept an article from a disgraced and fraudulent physician. Would one use other articles by a Jayson Blair of the New York Times who was fired for journalistic invention? If the Wall Street Journal fired a reporter for news falsification, I would be very reluctant to use any piece by her or him that may have been written previously.

In medicine, I think the standard should be even higher given the obvious implications for public health and specific patient safety. Maybe the articles cited are not tainted but I wonder if the authors bothered to subject them to additional peer review.

Thanks for your inquiry,


Additional comment:

Even if Dr Kuklo were not the lead investigator for some of the cited material, he obviously performed some role in the accumulation of data. I recognise medicine and the natural sciences have multi-authored papers and that there can be a range of scholarly involvement from encompassing to tangential. While it may not be fair to taint other ethical co-researchers by avoiding citation of their research, this is not about fairness. This is about patient safety and insuring that “infected” research not be disseminated without near certainty of its viability and accuracy.

The fact is that Dr Kuklo was part of these studies that preceded his falsified article and were cited after it was established that he violated academic ethics and had an article withdrawn from the medical literature. I think it is reasonable to question whether any of Colonel Kuklo’s research can be relied upon as scholarly and professionally consistent with academic standards given his academic transgressions and likely abdication of his Hippocratic Oath responsiblity “to do no harm.”

Previous entries on Doctor Timothy R.  Kuklo

May 20, 2010

August 20, 2009 Colonel Kuklo resigns from Wash U

July 15, 2009 A.W.O.L. Speculation

June 18, 2009 Million Dollar Baby

June 16. 2009

May 30, 2009

May 22, 2009 Dr Kuklo takes leave of absence

May 22, 2009

May 20, 2009

May 18, 2009

May 17, 2009 Dr Riew first critiqued

May 15, 2009

May 14, 2009

May 13, 2009


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