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July 14, 2010

Toward More Uniform Conflict DisclosuresThe Updated ICMJE Conflict of Interest Reporting Form

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Drazen is editor in chief, New England Journal of Medicine; Dr de Leeuw is editor in chief, Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde (Dutch Journal of Medicine); Dr Laine is editor, Annals of Internal Medicine; Dr Mulrow is secretary, ICMJE and senior deputy editor, Annals of Internal Medicine; Dr DeAngelis is editor in chief, JAMA; Dr Frizelle is editor in chief, The New Zealand Medical Journal; Dr Godlee is editor in chief, BMJ; Dr Haug is editor in chief, Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening (Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association); Dr Hébert is editor in chief, CMAJ; Dr James is deputy editor, The Lancet; Mr Kotzin is associate director for library operations, National Library of Medicine; Dr Marusic is editor in chief, Croatian Medical Journal; Dr Reyes is editor, Revista Médica de Chile; Dr Rosenberg is editor, Journal of the Danish Medical Association; Dr Sahni is representative and past president, World Association of Medical Editors; Dr Van Der Weyden is editor, The Medical Journal of Australia; and Dr Zhaori is editor in chief, Chinese Medical Journal.

JAMA. 2010;304(2):212-213. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.918

The great variability in the processes that different journals use to ask about and report authors' potential conflicts of interest creates confusion for authors, readers, and the public. To help lessen this confusion, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) developed an electronic uniform disclosure form and placed it in the public domain in October 2009. The ICMJE member journals piloted the form, encouraged other journals to use it, and invited feedback. We recognized that the reporting of competing interests is complex and nuanced and sometimes contentious, and thus anticipated modifying the form on the basis of feedback received. We are grateful to the many authors, editors, and other interested parties who took the time to comment on the form and its implementation. The issues raised ranged from technical problems about the correct deployment of the form (to function, it requires the user to download the free Adobe Reader, version 8.0 or higher [Adobe Systems, San Jose, California]) to concerns about the ethics of inquiring about nonfinancial associations. The Committee considered these valuable comments and revised the form at our most recent meeting.

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