The rules of retractionBMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6985 (Published 07 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6985
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The article has highlighted many caveats of publications related to
industry-sponsored studies. However, journal's wider interests, both
financial and otherwise, also deserve mentioning. Lundh et. al. noted the
association between publications of industry-supported trials and an
increase in journals' impact factors. Reprints can be a substantial source
of revenue for some journals. For example, reprints contributed to 3%, and
41% of the total income (2005-2006) of British Medical Journal and The
Lancet, respectively . Annals of Internal Medicine and New England
Journal of Medicine (NEJM) did not reveal their data. The Committee on
Publication Ethics (COPE) advises publication of journal's sources of
income . However, it does not address the potential conflict of
interest that may arise from generating a substantial earning from
Editors, supposedly, would claim that they act independently.
Arguably, independence would go only as far as the owners would permit, as
exemplified by the saga of dismissed editors of NEJM and the Canadian
Medical Association Journal . Comments by Marcia Angell would summarise
the scenario 'It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the
clinical research that is published...I take no pleasure in this
conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as
an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine' .
The policy of publication deserves total transparency. Perhaps it's
time that the conflict of interest should be extended from authors to
journals as well. But which journal is going to lead?
References:  Lundh A, Barbateskovic M, Hr?bjartsson A, G?tzsche
PC. Conflicts of interest at medical journals: the influence of industry-
supported randomised trials on journal impact factors and revenue - cohort
study. PLoS Med 2010;7(10):e1000354.
 Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Best Practice Guidelines for
Marcovitch H. Editors, Publishers, Impact Factors, and Reprint Income.
PLoS Medicine 2010;7(10):e1000355
 Angell M. Drug companies and doctors: A story of corruption (19-
January-2009). The New York Review of Books.
Competing interests: No competing interests