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Conflicts of interest and revamped editorial boards

7 Jan, 11 | by BMJ

Following a recent ethical and transparency audit by Liz Wager, Chair of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), the specialist journals have revamped their editorial boards. As well as tidying up the structure of these pages and correcting any stylistic errors, we have collected each journal Editor’s competing interests and made them publicly available.

New design and comprehensive listings

Each journal now has a complete and up to date editorial board, which includes the full names, institutions and locations of all board members. In addition, the email addresses of the core editors are included to promote interaction with our authors and users. The layout has been cleaned up and as a result is much more user-friendly.

Competing interests

Editor’s conflicts of interest are a fundamental principle of transparency. If authors and reviewers are expected to declare their competing interests, then Editors should do the same. Please see below an example of the competing interest form each of our Editors is asked to complete:

1) Have you in the past five years accepted the following from an organisation that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of papers in *insert journal name*?

a) Reimbursement for attending a symposium?
b) A fee for speaking?
c) A fee for organising education?
d) Funds for research?
e) Funds for a member of staff?
f) Fees for consulting?

2) Have you in the past five years been employed by any organisation that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of papers in the *insert journal name*?

a) Do you hold any stocks or shares in an organisation?
b) Do you have any other competing financial interests?
c) Do you have any other financial competing interests? If so, please specify.

To view a specific Editor’s competing interests, simply navigate to a journal editorial board (e.g. http://bjsm.bmj.com/site/about/edboard.xhtml) and click on the “Competing interests” link underneath the Editor’s name. You will then be taken to the BMJ Editorial Advisory Board or the Group site, where all of our competing interest statements are hosted, often accompanied by brief biographies of the Editors in question.

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