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ResourcesHuman Research EthicsA Common Standard for Conflict of Interest Disclosure (Guidance: Center for Science in the Public Interest | 2008)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

A Common Standard for Conflict of Interest Disclosure (Guidance: Center for Science in the Public Interest | 2008)

 


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Merrill Goozner, Arthur Caplan, Jonathan Moreno, Barnett S. Kramer, Thomas F. Babor, Wendy Cowles Husser

The reporting of conflicts of interest in science and medicine in the scientific literature1 has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. Failures to disclose conflicts of interest have become front page news, and a major embarrassment to publishers, editors, and professional societies.2

These failures to disclose relevant relationships have stemmed in part from a lack of uniform definitions for conflicts of interest and confusion about what needs to be reported. Academic investigators operate under varying institutional rules, and many are unable to accurately describe their institutions’ policies.3 Science and biomedical journals have a range of disclosure policies with differences in definitions of conflicts of interest, reporting requirements, and promises to publish.4

In the face of heightened scrutiny, several publishers have moved in the past several years to implement stricter conflict-of-interest disclosure and publication rules. 5 6 7 Organizations are paying greater attention to conflict-of-interest disclosure in the context of redefining the rules of engagement between academic investigators and private industry.8 The need for common standards in defining conflicts of interest has never been greater.

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