There's been chatter about conflicts of interest lately and adding to it is an editorial from the PLoS Medicine team outlining five ways journals can combat the effects of conflict of interest. One not-so-obvious one is to not only have the authors declare their competing interests, but to have the editors declare them as well. The list also includes looking beyond commercial interests to the promotion of a particular research program or idea, watching out for ghostwriting, asking authors for their original protocols (particularly for clinical trials), and realizing that unexciting papers can nevertheless be important. The editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, Fiona Godlee, told Science Insider that "it's a good editorial, pulling together issues that have been well aired before but which remain important, and it's excellent that PLoS is championing ethical publishing in this way."
Ethics in Publishing
Feb 26, 2009