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Bit More Transparent Now

Biomedical research studies are getting better at being transparent and including information about possible conflicts of interest and sources of funding, Nature News reports.

Researchers led by Stanford University's John Ioannidis examined markers of transparency in nearly 150 randomly selected articles published in biomedical journals between 2015 and 2017. Most of the papers, the researchers report in PLOS Biology, did disclose conflict of interest and funding information. In particular, about 35 percent did not include a conflict of interest statement and about 31 percent did not include funding information.

This is in contrast to what Ioannidis and his colleagues previously found in an analysis published in 2016, also in PLOS Biology. They then reported that most studies had no mention of possible conflicts of interest or funding.

"The fact we are now seeing statements on data sharing shows the culture is shifting," co-author Joshua Wallach from Yale University tells Nature News.

However in their new analysis, the researchers found that only one of the 104 papers for which it would be relevant included a link to a full study protocol and that only slightly more than 18 percent discussed some data that was publicly available, indicating there is still room for improvement.