Suppression of dissent website
in the section on Documents
in the subsection on "A case of disputed authorship"
31st July, 1996
Dr Brian Martin
Department of Science and Technology Studies
University of Wollongong. NSW. 2522.
Dear Dr Martin,
Dr Griffin's comments regarding "A case of disputed authorship" are largely irrelevant to the issue raised "..that the authorship of published works should reflect the contributions of those who did the research". They are also undocumented, the chronological order jumbled and most concern issues investigated and dismissed by the Meehan grievance report. However, despite this, I have made comments on a point to point basis.
Griffin, paragraph 3: "The manuscript in which Brown was involved was not accepted in its original form because the Editor of the 'Records of the Australian Museum'... considered that additional material should be incorporated into the paper."
* This statement and the 'Records of the Australian Museum' referee's report  both confirm that my scientific assessment of the submission suitability  of the manuscript in 1986 was indeed correct, and explains why publication of the manuscript did not occur in 1987 when Griffin submitted the manuscript to the 'Records' under his own name.
Griffin, paragraph 3: "It was indeed further delayed beyond that by the dispute involving Brown".
* I would like to make two points here:
1. The authorship dispute arose and work ceased on the manuscript for nearly a decade (1977-1986) because:
* In October, 1978, Griffin verbally stated to me his intentions to remove my name from the 1977 manuscript and then publish it with his research assistant (at the time), H. Tranter. Since I was not going to be acknowledged in a proper manner, I ceased working on the manuscript at that time. However, on my own time and expense, I continued doing research on lobsters and other deepwater decapods privately, but with difficulty due to Dr Griffin. In 1980 I was denied access to the lobster specimens in the crustacea collections of the Australian Museum .
2. The original lobster manuscript in 1977 was never totally finished, and, then, during this 9 year period much scientific activity occurred that resulted in the manuscript becoming out of date, including:
* new specimen material from deepwater trawling off Queensland and the Western Australian Northwest Shelf by CSIRO and from further deepwater trawling work off New South Wales by NSW Fisheries Research Vessel 'Kapala'.
* new publications affecting the manuscript:
George, R.W. 1983 "New finds of deepwater 'lobsters' on the Northwest Shelf. Fins 16(1): 16-20.
Holthuis, L.B. 1985. " A revision of the family Scyllaridae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Macrura). I. Subfamily Ibacinae. Zoologische Verhandelingen 218: 1-130.
Griffin, paragraph 4: "...it was work of a nature a research assistant should be expected to do."
* a person's contribution to a publication determines authorship, not their title or status.
* I was not Griffin's research assistant, nor was I 'expected' to do the work, it was done out of scientific interest, mostly on my own time, thus unpaid work.
Griffin, paragraph 4: "However, I certainly was prepared originally to have her as one of the authors. A number of other persons contributed in various ways to the work at various times..."
* If the above statement is correct, then all of the persons involved should have been acknowledged in the proper manner. Griffin, Stoddart and the Editor of the 'Records of the Australian Museum, J. Lowry, were all aware of the original manuscript bearing my name and my contributions to that manuscript, yet the published Griffin and Stoddart 1995 paper gives no acknowledgement to me at all. This suggests that their lack of acknowledgement was a deliberate act.
Griffin, paragraph 4: "... Brown is by no means the person who in the end did the majority of the work as eventually published."
* I did the majority of the work on the 1977 Griffin and Brown lobster manuscript, on which the published 1995 Griffin and Stoddart lobster manuscript is based, as a comparison of the manuscripts clearly shows: much word for word text, and the exact same 17 figures, etc.
Griffin, paragraph 5: "Brown was indeed asked by me if she wished to be listed as an author when the manuscript was resubmitted ..."
* I was asked about being listed as an author in December 1985 ; the manuscript was submitted by Griffin, under his own name, to the 'Records of the Australian Museum' for the first time in early 1987 , so the latter part of the statement, "...when the manuscript was resubmitted" is incorrect.
* I was the person who did the majority of the work on the 1977 manuscript, so why was I being asked by Griffin in 1986 if I wanted to be listed as an author in the first place?
The answer relates directly to Griffin's 1978 verbal statement to me that he intended to remove my name from the manuscript and publish it with his research assistant, H. Tranter.
Griffin, paragraph 7: " "Following Brown's written statement that she did not wish to be mentioned in the work, I personally completely checked every aspect of the manuscript and revised those sections needing it; this involved re-examining many of the specimens on which the paper is based."
* Griffin, in the above statement, is referring to his 1986 personal revision of the original 1977 Griffin and Brown manuscript  which he carried out in response to my 7th February 1986 memo: the manuscript needed "extensive revision, rewriting and updating". This revision took place before "...Brown's written statement  that she did not wish to be mentioned in the work" not "following" as Griffin has stated.
* Griffin's revision took place between February - September 1986; he:
1) had access to all the lobster specimens in the collections of the Australian Museum, both new specimen material and the old material.
2) had access to all the facilities of the Australian Museum including computers, typists, technical assistance, references, artists, etc.
3) was paid for his work
* Despite the above, Griffin's 1986 revision failed to correct the datedness, and problems, etc. of the manuscript, despite much new material being readily available at that time in the collections of the Australian Museum, as well as in the Queensland and Western Australia Museums. Some examples of new lobster material available in 1986, but not included in his 1986 Griffin and Brown 'revised manuscript':
1) Puerulus angulatus, specimen available since 1977 .
2) Stereomastis typhlops, W.A. comparative specimens available since 1983 .
3) Stereomastis nana, W.A. comparative specimens available since 1983 .
4) Nephropsis stewarti, W.A. comparative specimens available since 1983 .
5) Stereomastis andamanensis, specimens available since 1984 .
6) Stereomastis sculpta, specimens available since 1977 .
7) Nephropsis acanthura, specimens available since 1983 .
There were also many more specimens of the old material available for study and inclusion in the manuscript, some examples:
1) Polycheles baccatus, only 2 specimens available in 1977 ; 9 available by 1986 .
2) Polycheles euthrix, only 1 specimen in 1977 , 20 + available in 1986 .
Griffin's 1986 revision also failed to include the references George, 1983 and Holthuis, 1985, both of which affected the manuscript considerably as they contained new Australian records from the families Polychelidae, Palinuridae, and Scyllaridae. Holthuis even sent Griffin a copy of his 1985 paper in early to mid 1986 .
Griffin, paragraph 5: "... but in writing she stated that she did not wish to be identified with it in the form [Griffin's revised 1986 manuscript] which she saw"
* The statement is absolutely true, not only because of the deficiencies of the 1986 [Griffin revised] manuscript detailed, but the 'conditions' imposed by Griffin at the time :
1) Griffin 1986 revised manuscript was the 'final manuscript' for submission; no changes were to be made.
2) "... a simple unequivocal response..." (yes/no) was to be given.
3) only 1 week to read the manuscript, not on museum time, with no extension allowed.
4) No access given to the lobster specimen material upon which the paper was based, despite the fact that I had not seen the material in 9 years.
'Authorship' requires that all authors take public responsibility for their published statements. Griffin's 'authorship' conditions, particularly no. 4, made this an impossibility. The outcome Griffin sought was predictable: set up a withdrawal situation, and a withdrawal is the result. My memo of 21 September 1986 reflects this situation.
* My withdrawal was a 'conditional withdrawal', which Griffin chose to ignore. The manuscript he submitted to the 'Records' and that was reviewed, may not have been not an 'exact copy' of the one I received on 15 September 1986. This may have a strong bearing on why:
1) All three copies (author's, editor's and referee's) of the manuscript submitted by Griffin, under his own name, to the 'Records of the Australian Museum' in early 1987 are 'lost' .
2) All 3 copies of the referee's comments of the above manuscript are also 'lost' .
Griffin, paragraph 5: "Yet, prior to its submission to the 'Records', and in accordance with my established practice with respect to scientific papers, it had been formally submitted to three of the leading international researchers in the field, who all said that it was suitable."
* Griffin implies in this statement that the lobster manuscript [it] sent to "three of the leading international researchers" was the same manuscript, reviewed at the same time, and reviewed before being given to me. This was not the case:
1) Griffin sent the original Griffin and Brown 1977 manuscript to Dr R. Manning, Smithsonian Institution, USA  and Dr R. George , Western Australian Museum in 1977. Their comments, written in 1977, applied only to the 1977 manuscript, not to the 'Griffin revised version' of 1986. George, particularly, would not be pleased with the 1986 manuscript as:
* George's 1983 publication, dealing with CSIRO Northwest Shelf lobster material, was not included in the 1986 manuscript, nor was Holthuis, 1985. George and Manning would definitely have pointed this out.
* While both the George and Manning reviews were positive about the manuscript, both in 1977 made relevant and important suggestions for improving the manuscript before submission. Almost none of these suggestions were incorporated into the 1986 'Griffin revised' (Griffin and Brown) manuscript. These suggestions were incorporated into the 1995 Griffin and Stoddart paper.
2) Griffin sent a 'version' of his 1986 revised manuscript, under his name only, to Dr L.B. Holthuis, Leiden, Netherlands for review on the 23 September 1986 , after he forced my 'authorship' decision, and not before, as he implies.
* While Holthuis's review report is available, the 'actual manuscript' that Holthuis reviewed is not. This manuscript, like the 3 copies of the manuscript submitted to the 'Records', plus the 3 copies of the 'Records' referee's report, is 'lost' . This suggests that it also was not identical to the manuscript about which my 21 September 1986 comments were written. The Holthuis manuscript review made no mention of the absence of the important reference: Holthuis, 1985. This reference was absent from the 'version' of the manuscript which Griffin presented to me on 15 September 1986.
* Griffin, in the above statement, is using 'peer review' to support his position, but in a memo dated 21 January 1988, on scientific fraud he stated "...there is sufficient evidence that peer review is not as effective as it should be. The fact is (probably) that peer review is the worst means of evaluating scientific contribution..." .
Griffin, paragraph 5: "Her view that the manuscript was not suitable for publication was reinforced by her sending it, without any consultation with me, to another person whom she claimed to be competent to referee it and who, she claimed, considered it to be not suitable for publication."
* The words I wrote were "...not ready for submission to a journal..."  and not "...not suitable for publication" as stated by Griffin.
* The reviewer was:
Dr A.J. Underwood, Reader in Experimental Ecology (at that time, now Professor), Director of the Institute of Marine Ecology, Sydney University.
* The manuscript version reviewed was:
Original Griffin & Brown manuscript, 1977 (the 1986 Griffin revised version had not at that time been received). I have the actual manuscript reviewed.
* Underwood's comments, dated the 19th September 1986 , mention the lack of Holthuis 1985 reference, datedness of text, need for text revision and editing and new material to be added, lack of a taxonomic key, etc.; comments similar to my own and particularly those of George, 1977.
* Dr Meehan, the Grievance Investigator, was shown Dr Underwood's review comments, and the manuscript at the first grievance investigation meeting, 20 April 1989.
* Griffin implies in this statement that I have acted improperly "...by her sending it, without any consultation with me, to another person.." If this is improper, then he is also guilty of acting improperly: in 1977, he sent the 1977 manuscript for review to George and Manning, without any consultation with me, even though I told him in April 1977, before leaving on a 5 month overseas trip, that the manuscript was unfinished, and had taxonomic problems which I hoped to sort out by looking at specimens in overseas museums, on my time and at my expense.
Griffin, paragraph 5: I have never been told who the person was to whom Brown sent the ms and I have never been told the qualifications of that person."
* Griffin has never asked to see a copy of 'my reviewer's' specific scientific comments; he was, in 1986, like in 1996 only interested in knowing the person's name and qualifications.
Griffin, paragraph 5: "It is not the least important aspect of this issue that Brown has 'never' been able to say even in general terms what is wrong with the manuscript."
* I have stated in various memos in 'general terms' (i.e. out of date, needs new material, revision) what was wrong with the manuscript. All the specific scientific information relating to the lobster manuscript which I have managed to accumulate since 1978, was obtained on my own time, involving considerable initiative, effort and personal expense, due entirely to Griffin's actions, (i.e. denial of access to specimens, etc.) Therefore, I was under no obligation to tell Griffin anything in this regard, particularly as I had no assurance that he would acknowledge my authorship in 1986 (or later), any more than he did in 1978. However, from December, 1985, I repeatedly requested that an independent committee be set up and I would detail "what is [was] wrong with the manuscript" . This was rejected repeatedly by Griffin.
Griffin, paragraph 6: "It is wrong to state that Brown accepted the report of Meehan and that I did not!"
* The major finding of the Meehan report  was: "If this paper is to be published, even in a changed form, it would be appropriate for Ms Brown to be included in the authorship. One way that this might be achieved is for Dr Griffin to acknowledge (in writing) this and for Ms Brown to then supply Dr Griffin (in writing) her comments/criticisms of the manuscript."
* I received no such authorship acknowledgement document from Griffin.
* The published manuscript, Griffin and Stoddart, 1995, is undeniable proof that Griffin did not accept Meehan's report and recommendations.
* Other documents that show that Griffin did not accept the Meehan report:
In April 1990, a confidential letter was sent to R. Williams, President of the Australian Museum Trust, by my solicitor, detailing the nature of the lobster manuscript dispute, and the results of the Grievance Officer's report: 
"Ms Brown wishes the Grievance Officer's report to be implemented.......However, no action has been taken to implement the report by Dr Griffin who, our client understands, refuses to implement the report in the manner referred to above".
No reply was received from Williams, instead, Griffin replied on the 18th June 1990 :
"In the case of Ms Brown's grievance I am satisfied, as the Museum's Chief Executive Officer and Grievance Manager, that appropriate people and procedures were involved in the investigation of her grievance. The conditions which she has laid down for what she considers to be a satisfactory resolution of her grievance are unacceptable to the Museum."
Griffin paragraph 8: "The manuscript as published and the one which existed at the time Brown had any involvement with it are very different."
* The published 1995 manuscript is basically the 1977 Griffin and Brown manuscript, with most of the reviewers' (Manning, George, Underwood, etc.) comments/suggestions slotted into it.
Griffin, paragraph 9: "...are able to identify what parts of the paper are identical and what the significance of the contribution of the "identical sections" to the overall paper is."
* One of the many examples of word-for-word text: Griffin and Stoddart, page 243; Griffin and Brown 1986 manuscript, p. 18-22; Griffin and Brown 1977 manuscript, pp. 22-26.
* The Griffin and Stoddart paper contains figures 1-17; the exact same 17 figures are found in the Griffin and Brown 1986 manuscript, figures 2-17, 20; Griffin and Brown 1977 manuscript, figures 2-17, 20.
All of the major work associated with these figures, including specimen identification, selection, preparation, hiring and instructing the artist, arranging for and assisting in the photography (colour slides and black/white) was done by me prior to April 1977. Griffin took no part; Stoddart was not even employed at the Australian Museum at that time.
* All the colour descriptions are based on colour slides of frozen specimens. These slides (except Puerulus angulatus and Linuparus sordidus) were taken at my initiative by photography staff of the Australian Museum with my assistance. The descriptions were written by me prior to April, 1977. Griffin, never saw the frozen material, and had nothing to do with the preparation of material for these slides, or the colour descriptions. Nor did Stoddart, as she was not employed at the Australian Museum at that time. The colour descriptions from the Griffin and Brown 1977 manuscript, appear, almost word for word, in Griffin and Stoddart 1995, i.e. example: Stereomastis suhmi, Griffin and Stoddart 1995, p. 250; Griffin and Brown 1986 manuscript, p. 28-29; Griffin and Brown 1977 manuscript, p. 33; Polycheles typhlops, Griffin and Stoddart 1995, p. 243; Griffin and Brown 1986 manuscript, p. 20-21; Griffin and Brown 1977 manuscript, p. 24-25.
Griffin, paragraph 11: "...unless one is suggesting that the way in which the Museum handles these issues is grossly unsatisfactory."
* there is considerable evidence to suggest that "the way in which the Museum handles these issues is grossly unsatisfactory" with regard to this case:
1) The manner in which this case has been handled and the outcome is directly related to the 'position power' of the individuals involved. Griffin, Director of the Australian Museum, Head of the 'Records of the Australian Museum', Head of Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination, Grievance Head (including Grievance Manager) retained all of these positions virtually throughout the grievance process, despite being in a 'conflict of interest' situation in every position. Many documents show this, two in particular:
* Griffin appoints Cogger "as my delegate as Grievance Manager" and then states:
"In this respect my firm recollection is that you informed me that a group under your convenorship had considered the grievance and had decided there were not sufficient grounds for the grievance to proceed further" .
* D. Griffin, memo to Hillman and Woolf, 18 June 1990, in response to B. Woolf, letter to R. Williams, 30 April 1990:
Griffin states "In the case of Ms Brown's grievance I am satisfied, as the Museum's Chief Executive Officer and Grievance Manager, that appropriate people and procedures were involved in the investigation of her grievance. The conditions which she has laid down for what she considers to be a satisfactory resolution of her grievance [implementation of the Meehan report as written] are unacceptable to the Museum."
2) J. Lowry, Editor of the 'Records of the Australian Museum' was also in a strong 'conflict of interest' position throughout this dispute, and particularly with regard to the actual publishing of the Griffin and Stoddart manuscript. He was advised in writing that I was a coauthor, and had not given my permission for the manuscript to be published .
3) The Australian Museum has a 'Code of Conduct'  which mentions an 'ethics' committee to oversee animals used in research, but has no ethics committee or guidelines/code of conduct for research, publication or authorship.
4) One month after I sent a memo to D. Hoese  complaining about the grievance process, and stating that the manuscript grievance must be referred to an outside, independent authority, my position as Technical Officer, Ichthyology, was made redundant  due to a 'scientific restructure'.
Griffin, paragraph 12: "As a result of a number of cases, particularly in Australia, I long ago took direct steps to put in place procedures to prevent fraud or unethical procedures. I must state that I am not aware of any such cases in the Museum during the last 25 years."
* Griffin's statement "I long ago took direct steps.." refers to his memo to H. Cogger, 21 January 1988 which requires that manuscripts before submission to a journal:
1) "...be refereed by a scientist who is not one of the authors and is not a person involved in the research on which the paper is based."
2) "...where the paper is authored by more than one person, the author from the Australian Museum must sign a letter submitting the paper or authorizing submission of the paper, which states that they have seen and agree with the manuscript to be submitted."
3) "...a copy of all papers of which a museum staff member is one of several authors shall be submitted for noting to the Trust prior to submission for publication, together with a signed copy of the letter authorizing submission of the paper for publication.
The Griffin and Stoddart lobster paper was published in 1995, without my knowledge and with no proper acknowledgement despite the above statements: the Griffin and Stoddart manuscript was noted by the Australian Museum Trust, 3 August, 1995 .
It was also published despite the following:
* a grievance report (Meehan report)  which stated that I should be listed as a coauthor.
* memos to both Griffin and the 'Records' Editor, J. Lowry, that I was a coauthor and I did not give my permission for the paper to be published .
* a letter to the Australian Museum Trust President from my solicitor stating that "...she wishes to be acknowledged as co-author" .
* a letter to Griffin from my solicitor stating"...you are expressly on notice that our client does desire that her contribution be acknowledged on publication of the finalised paper. Given this fact and given the work done by our client on the paper it would be, with respect, a misrepresentation of the authorship of the paper if our client's name was omitted. Further, and as you are aware, our client seeks also in accordance with the grievance officer's report the opportunity to consider and approve the paper before publication" 
1. J. Lowry, memo to B. Meehan, 1 June 1989
2. D. Brown, memo to D. Griffin, 22 January 1986; D. Brown, memo to D. Griffin, 7 February 1986; D. Brown, memo to D. Griffin, 21 September 1986.
3. D. Brown to H. Cogger, January 1980; H. Cogger to D. Brown, 30 January 1980. Numerous other documents relate to this matter.
4. D. Griffin, memo to D. Brown, 6 December 1985.
5. D. Griffin, letter to L. Holthuis, 6 January 1987.
6. D. Griffin, memo to D. Brown, 10 September 1986, memo and manuscript not received by D. Brown until 15 September 1986.
7. D. Brown, memo to D. Griffin, 21 September, 1986.
8. R. George, letter to D. Griffin, 8 August 1977.
9. R.W. George, 1983. "New finds of deepwater 'lobsters' on the Northwest Shelf. Fins 16(1): 16-20.
10. Refer to reference 9.
11. Refer to reference 9.
12. Stereomastis andamanensis [p.244], Material examined: AM P38725, 2 August 1984: D.J.G. Griffin and H.E. Stoddart, "Deepwater decapod Crustacea from eastern Australia: lobsters of the families Nephropidae, Palinuridae, Polychelidae and Scyllaridae, Records of the Australian Museum, 1 December 1995, Vol. 47, pp. 231-263.
13.Stereomastis sculpta [p.248], Material examined: AM P40365, 8 December 1977; AM P40366, 11 April 1984: D.J.G. Griffin and H.E. Stoddart, "Deepwater decapod Crustacea from eastern Australia: lobsters of the families Nephropidae, Palinuridae, Polychelidae and Scyllaridae, Records of the Australian Museum, Vol. 47, 1 December, 1995, pp. 231-263.
14. Nephropsis acanthura [p.234], Material examined: AM P40382, 17 October 1983; AM P40384, 11 October 1984, etc.: D.J.G. Griffin and H.E. Stoddart, "Deepwater decapod Crustacea from eastern Australia: lobsters of the families Nephropidae, Palinuridae, Polychelidae and Scyllaridae, Records of the Australian Museum, Vol. 47, 1 December, 1995, pp. 231-263.
15. Polycheles baccatus [p.10], Material: 2 specimens: D.J.G. Griffin and D.E. Brown, Deepwater decapod Crustacea from eastern Australia: lobsters of the families Palinuridae, Polychelidae, Scyllaridae and Nephropidae", 1977 manuscript 16. Polycheles baccatus [p.238], Material examined: 8 specimens, Griffin and Stoddart 1995.
17. Polycheles euthrix [p.15], Material: 1 specimen, D.J.G. Griffin and D.E. Brown, Deepwater decapod Crustacea from eastern Australia: lobsters of the families Palinuridae, Polychelidae, Scyllaridae and Nephropidae", 1977 manuscript.
18. Polycheles euthrix [p. 239], Material examined: 20+ specimens, Griffin and Stoddart, 1995.
19. D. Griffin, letter to L. Holthuis, 23 September 1986.
20. D. Griffin, memo to D. Brown, 10 September 1986; D. Brown, memo to D. Griffin, 7 February 1986; D. Griffin, reply to D. Brown: "Absolutely not." 10 February 1986.
21. B. Meehan, memo to H. Cogger, 27 August 1989; D. Brown, memo to H. Cogger, 20 March 1990.
22. J. Lowry, memo to B. Meehan, 1 June 1989.
23. R. Manning, letter to D. Griffin, 19 August 1977.
24. R. George, letter to D. Griffin, 8 August 1977
25. D. Griffin, letter to L. Holthuis, 23 September 1986; L. Holthuis, letter to D. Griffin, 16 December 1986.
26. B. Meehan, memo to H. Cogger, 27 August 1989; D. Brown, memo to H. Cogger, 20 March 1990.
27. D. Griffin, memo to H. Cogger, 21 January 1988.
28. D. Brown, memo to D. Griffin, 21 September 1986.
29. A. Underwood, letter to D. Brown, 19 September, 1986.
30. D. Brown, memo to D. Griffin, 7 February 1986; D. Brown, memo to D. Griffin, 21 September, 1986.
31. B. Meehan, memo to H. Cogger 27 August 1989.
32. B. Woolf, letter to R. Williams, 30 April 1990.
33. D. Griffin, letter to Hillman and Woolf, 18 June 1990.
34. D. Griffin, memo to H. Cogger, 18 November 1988.
35. D. Brown, memo to J. Lowry, 10 January 1989.
36. Australian Museum 'Code of Conduct', Library: staff policy book (July, 1996).
37. D. Brown, memo to D. Hoese, 21 April 1994.
38. H. Cogger, memo to D. Brown, 27 May 1994. Note: Redundancy payment offered was incorrect, D. Grubb, memo to D. Brown, 4 July 1994; D. Brown, memo to D. Grubb, 4 July 1994.
39. Minutes of the Australian Museum Trust, 8 August 1995.
40. B. Meehan, memo to H. Cogger 27 August 1989.
41. D. Brown, memo to D, Griffin, 10 January, 1989; D. Brown, memo to J. Lowry, 10 January 1989.
42. B. Woolf, letter to R. Williams, 30 April 1990.
43. B. Woolf, letter to D. Griffin, 25 July 1990.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to make these comments.