These conclude BMJ’s investigation into research integrity issues concerning Paul McCrory

The British Journal of Sports Medicine has retracted six further articles authored by former editor, Dr Paul McCrory, and corrected another two, following an extensive investigation of his sole authored content in the journal.

The retractions comprise four ‘warm up’ editorials and one book review due to plagiarism. A letter has also been retracted because of duplicate publication. And a research article and a review article have been corrected due to inappropriate reuse of content.

This latest tranche of retractions and corrections completes BMJ’s 2-year investigation of McCrory’s single-authored articles published in BMJ journals. Several other articles in the journals portfolio were also investigated at the request of Dr McCrory’s former employer, the University of Melbourne.

It follows the retraction in 2022 of 10 articles—’warm up’ editorials, opinion pieces, and commentaries—due to plagiarism, redundant publication, and in one case, misrepresentation of a quote.

Expressions of concern have been applied to articles published in BMJ journals in which McCrory is the single author. Most were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, with the remainder in The BMJ and Injury Prevention.

A rapid response posted online in the journal fully updates this latest evolution of the investigation, following the editorial which set out the initial concerns raised in 2022.

Dr McCrory, who edited the British Journal of Sports Medicine between 2001 and 2008, has approved these latest retractions and corrections.

Commenting on the conclusion of the investigation into Dr McCrory’s authorship, Dr Helen Macdonald, Publication Ethics & Content Integrity Editor for BMJ, said: “As no further concerns have been raised with BMJ about Dr McCrory’s authorship in BMJ journals, no further action will be taken.

“But should any further allegations be made about Dr McCrory’s work published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine or in any of the other titles in BMJ’s journal portfolio, these will be investigated.”

Professor Jonathan Drezner, editor in chief of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, added: “Upholding the scientific integrity of our published content is a top priority for the British Journal of Sports Medicine and all BMJ journals. This requires time and commitment, and I want to thank BMJ’s research integrity team and the University of Melbourne for their collaboration throughout this investigation.”


Notes for editors
Retracted and amended content available here
EditorialMacdonald H, Ragavooloo S, Abbasi K, Drezner J. Update on the investigation into the publication record of former BJSM editor-in-chief Paul McCrory 

Retracted content
McCrory P, Davis G. Paediatric sport related concussion pilot study. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2005;39:116.
McCrory P. “Elementary, my dear Watson”. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006;40:283-4.
McCrory P. Cheap solutions for big problems? British Journal of Sports Medicine 2007;41:545.
McCrory P. Is it all too much? British Journal of Sports Medicine 2007;41:405-6.
McCrory P. You are a better man than I am, Gunga Din. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006;40:737.
McCrory P. Boxing: medical aspects. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006;40:561.

Corrected content
McCrory P, Meeuwisse WH, Echemendia RJ, et al. What is the lowest threshold to make a diagnosis of concussion? British Journal of Sports Medicine 2013;47:268-71.
McCrory P. Prevalence of headache in Australian footballers. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2001;35:286-7.