News & CommentScience and Commerce

Journals Joust Over Conflict-of-Interest Rules

Science  25 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5312, pp. 523-525
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5312.523b

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A peppery exchange of letters and editorials in the world's top medical journals this week reveals that the editors of these elite publications disagree sharply about how to handle their authors' conflicts of interest. On one side is Boston's venerable New England Journal of Medicine, upholding a tough policy that requires full disclosure of authors' financial interests and bans editorials by anyone with a financial stake in the subject being discussed. On the other side are Epidemiology of Newton, Massachusetts, and The Lancet of London, both of which argue that modest requirements for self-disclosure are adequate.