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January 6, 2010

Uniform Format for Disclosure of Competing Interests in ICMJE Journals

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2010;303(1):75-76. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1542

Disclosure of financial associations of authors of articles published in biomedical journals has become common practice. The information provided in these disclosures helps the reader to understand the relationships between the authors and various commercial entities that may have an interest in the information reported in the published article. At present, many journals ask authors to report such relationships by completing a form with information about their financial associations. The journals then either post the complete information online or create a summary of the information and publish it with the article in question. Although efforts are under way to establish uniform reporting systems, there is currently no uniform vehicle for the disclosure of financial associations. Thus authors may provide similar information to different journals in multiple formats. In addition, slight differences among journals in requirements for reporting can lead to confusion, as the same individual may report different information to different journals. With this editorial, which is being published simultaneously in all International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) journals, we introduce a new disclosure form that has been adopted by all journals that are members of the ICMJE. We encourage other journals to adopt this reporting format, and we are placing the form in the public domain.

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