In Reply Dr Shaw and colleagues think that the term “conflict of interest” is not pejorative because the implication is that this infers the potential for conflict rather than its reality. We do not think so. A conflict is a clash, a quarrel, a squabble, or a disagreement, often of a protracted nature, not just the prospect of its occurrence. Journals require increasingly “full and transparent reporting,” for example, by provision of metadata, but do not request authors to address a priori their “fabrication of results” unless they detect evidence that this has occurred.
Cappola AR, FitzGerald GA. Conflict or Confluence of Interest?—Reply. JAMA. 2016;315(16):1793-1794. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0327