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Model Conflict of Interest Disclosure Guidelines

To allow scientists, the public, and policy makers to make more informed judgments about research reports, letters, commentaries, editorials, book and literature reviews, and news articles, and to safeguard the credibility of scientific peer review, we urge all journals to adopt a strong policy regarding disclosing conflicts of interest and publishing those disclosures. That policy should include the following provisions:

Disclosure by authors should be mandatory, not voluntary, and disclosed information should be published alongside articles.

Disclosure by editors and reviewers asked to judge manuscripts should be mandatory, not voluntary, and editors and reviewers should be disqualified from reviewing manuscripts concerning which they have conflicts of interest.

Disclosure should include:

  • The sources of funding for the study, review, or other item being published;
  • Any financial or other significant relations (e.g., consulting, speaker fees, corporate advisory committee memberships, expert testimony given in legal cases) of the author and the author's immediate family in the last 5 years with companies, trade associations, unions, or groups (including civic associations and public interest groups) that may gain or lose financially from the results or conclusions in the study, review, editorial, or letter.
  • The specific contribution of each author of the published paper (conception and design; analysis and interpretation of data; drafting of the article; critical revision of the article for intellectual contents; final approval of the article; statistical expertise; administrative, technical or logistical support; and collection and assembly of data.).

Disclosures of relevant financial interests of the journal's editorial board members should be printed in the journal.