BMJ’s new Conflict of Interest Policy

Editor’s Choice

The milk debate, conflicts of interest, and our Christmas appeal

Fiona Godleeeditor in chief, The BMJ

….Elsewhere we announce our new more stringent policy on financial conflicts of interest among authors of our educational articles (doi:10.1136/bmj.g7197). This has been several years in the making. Now, after much discussion among the journal’s editors and external advisers, we have decided that we will no longer commission editorials, clinical reviews, and practice articles from authors with financial ties to industry. We will phase the policy in, beginning with editorials, clinical reviews, and most practice series. We plan to extend it to the rest of our education section—state of the art reviews and diagnostic and therapeutic series—by the end of 2016.

Despite our own and other people’s concerns that we would find this impossible to implement, our initial experience has been positive. We are grateful to our authors for engaging with the process, and the cluster of education articles published in the 6 December print issue is a good start, with authors of two of the three articles having no links to commercial companies (doi:10.1136/bmj.g4531, doi:10.1136/bmj.g6560, doi:10.1136/bmj.g6722). As we say in our editorial, we are willing to miss out on articles on a few topics in exchange for publishing more articles from authors without financial ties to industry. We will report back on how we get on, and we welcome your views.

Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7447

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