Virtually all top medical journals require authors to disclose potential conflicts of interest, but few—just 12%—apply that same medicine to their own editors by publicly disclosing editors’ financial ties to industry, a study has found.
Authors of the study, published 23 July in BMJ Open, called that “paradoxical” given that other analyses have shown that about 50% of editors at such journals in the United States have received payments from industry. “Journal editorial teams are a key player that should apply to themselves the transparency they demand from their authors,” wrote Rafael Dal-Ré of the Autonomous University of Madrid and his co-authors.
They examined 130 journals spanning medical, imaging, and surgery specialties, focusing on the top five most influential ones, as measured by their impact factors, in each of 26 subcategories. In half of the categories, not a single journal publicly disclosed any editor conflicts of interest (COIs), their study found.