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Funding Source and Conflict of Interest Disclosures by Authors and Editors in Gastroenterology Specialty Journals

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INTRODUCTION: Declarations of conflicts of interest have received considerable scrutiny in recent years.

AIM: To determine if the leading gastroenterology journals had a formal conflict of interest disclosure policy and the extent to which this policy was followed by reporting of funding sources and potential conflicts of interests of the authors and editors of published studies.

METHODS: We examined original articles and editorials in 12 leading journals (determined by impact factor) devoted to gastroenterology and hepatology. We examined the editorial policy of the journal (if available) on the Web site of the journal or in print versions of the journal and contacted the journal for further information on editorial policies.

RESULTS: A total of 1,114 original articles and 154 editorials were evaluated from 12 journals. The source of funding for a study was disclosed in 19–99% of the articles examined with only one journal reporting the funding source (or absence of funding) in over 90% of articles studied. A potential conflict of interest was present in 0–13% of original articles and 0–33% of editorials. Only 2 of 12 (17%) journals publicly disclosed the conflicts of interest of the editors to the reader and only 3 (25%) had a formal method for handling editors' conflicts of interest.

CONCLUSIONS: Editors of gastroenterology and hepatology journals have been slow to implement guidelines for the disclosure of their own conflicts of interest. Disclosure of funding sources and conflicts of interest of authors is variable despite the presence of conflict of interest policies at most journals.

(Am J Gastroenterol 2007;102:1146–1150)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Aurora Sinai Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin and Marquette University College of Health Sciences, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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