Letters

Declaring competing interests

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7322.1187a (Published 17 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1187

Problem cannot be solved by editors alone

  1. Giovanni A Fava, professor of clinical psychology (fava@psibo.unibo.it)
  1. Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, I-40127 Bologna, Italy
  2. Clinical Trials and Evidence-Based Medicine Unit, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Gr-Ioannina 45110, Greece

    EDITOR—Hussain and Smith have provided evidence of a small, but increasing proportion of articles declaring competing interests in a sample of selected medical journals.1 Krimsky, however, in a study including over 60 000 articles from a much wider representation of scientific journals, found that competing interests were reported in less than 1% of articles, despite the policies endorsed by the journals.2

    Both these data and those by Hussain and Smith are in striking contrast with a study that analysed 789 articles written by authors from Massachusetts universities and reported that, in about one out of three cases, at least one author had a vested interest in research.3 Even though the rates of disclosure are increasing as a result of more stringent editorial policies, they are still …

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