FORUM DISCUSSION TOPIC: comments please
DISCLOSED CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Disclosure of conflicts of interest is essential to preserving the integrity of published research. Though previous COPE guidelines have addressed the editor's role in administering undisclosed conflicts of interest, less attention has been paid to the appropriate means of handling financial or nonfinancial conflicts of interest that are fully disclosed at the outset of the review process for papers or post-publication commentaries.
While disclosure should not serve as a rubber stamp, affording authors the opportunity to advance any argument regardless of personal interest or biases, it is also clear that overly aggressive treatment of work by authors with disclosed conflicts of interest also presents a disservice to the scientific record, as it neglects the notion that authors might present meaningful research or commentary despite the existence of a conflict, and it also incentivizes authors to avoid disclosure of information that might preclude fair consideration of their work.
1. What additional procedures are appropriate to evaluate work from authors with disclosed conflicts of interest?
2. How should editors handle manuscripts or commentary refuting the work of others?
3. How should information about conflicts of interests be shared with reviewers, editors, etc.?
This will be discussed at the start of the next COPE Forum on Friday 3 February. Please do leave any comments below, whether or not you are planning on joining the meeting
Comments are reviewed and, on approval, added below.