The science journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) will penalize its authors if they fail to disclose all potential financial conflicts of interest. The new policy was prompted by a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which found that three authors that published in EHP failed to disclose various financial relationships with private industry. EHP says that authors who fail to make such disclosures in the future will be banned from publication for three years. Today CSPI praised EHP's tough new disclosure policy and urged other journals of medicine and science to follow suit.
"There is a crisis of confidence in the integrity of medical and scientific research," said Merrill Goozner, director of the Integrity in Science Project at CSPI. "I hope all of the major medical and scientific journals will revisit their policies, and let their authors know, as EHP now does, that failing to disclose ties to industry will result in a real penalty."
In an editorial in the October issue of EHP, editor-in-chief Thomas J. Goehl urges the research community to embrace such scrutiny. "Full disclosure is in the best interest of the individual scientists, the journals, and society, which must have complete faith that our research is not only of the highest quality but also is open, honest, and unbiased," Goehl wrote. EHP is published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.
The other journals examined in CSPI's July 12 report, Unrevealed, are the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. JAMA had the highest rate of nondisclosure of conflicts at 11.3 percent, or six out of 53 articles.For more information, contact: Center for Science in the Public Interest