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Lessons learnt on transparency, scientific process and publication ethics. The short story of a long journey to get into the public domain unpublished data, methodological flaws and bias of the Cochrane HPV vaccines review

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  • Contributors CR and ST wrote the first draft. CR, ST and JPS contributed to the conception, drafting, critical revision for important intellectual content and the final approval of the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests CR and ST are freelance investigative journalists. They co-founded Re-Check, a non-profit organisation specialised in investigating and mapping health affairs. JPS is a gynaecologist and a surgeon. He is a lecturer at the University of Lausanne (Faculty of Medicine). CR and JPS are the coauthors of an investigative book on the HPV vaccination (‘La piqûre de trop?’, Xenia, 2010). CR published four investigations in Swiss mainstream media on HPV vaccine. ST is the cochair of, the Swiss Network of Investigative Journalists, and an advisory board member for and She authored three investigative TV documentaries on the HPV vaccination (Swiss Public Broadcaster: Falò RSI 2009; Falò RSI/Rundschau SRF 2010; Rundschau SRF 2014).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.