Head To Head

Should journals sell reprints? No

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d6448 (Published 14 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6448
  1. Tom Jefferson, reviewer
  1. 1Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group, Queensland, Australia
  1. Jefferson.tom{at}gmail.com

Jane Smith (doi:10.1136/bmj.d6428) argues that stopping journals selling reprints will not benefit research or readers, but Tom Jefferson sees the competing interests as a serious problem

Although I am far from wanting to stop honest hardworking publishing and editing folk from earning a crust by selling reprints of content of their journals, the matter is not quite as straightforward as a yes or no debate. In 2009 the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) published a new format for the disclosure of conflicts of interest.1 The new format was launched with an editorial signed by some of the most powerful names in medical publishing.2 The rules require anyone submitting an article to any of the journals to make a detailed disclosure of any financial or non-financial ties “that a reasonable reader would want to know about in relation to the submitted work.”1 The rationale for disclosure is stringent, as Drazen and colleagues describe in the editorial: “The information provided in these disclosures helps the reader to understand the relationships between the authors and various commercial entities that may have an interest in the information reported in the published article.”2

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