One of the World's leading science journals this week bowed to mounting pressure and asked contributors to declare potential conflicts of interest, including disclosure of financial interests. Phillip Campbell, editor of Nature, which previously did not have a financial disclosure policy, issued a statement on 23 August 2001 titled 'Declaration of financial interests'. In the statement, he introduces a new policy for authors of research papers in Nature.

Campbell states there is evidence to suggest that publication practices in biomedical research have been influenced by the commercial interests of authors. He also voices a general concern in the scientific community of the possible undermining of the integrity of scientific research by increasing commercial links and consequent influences.

Concerns about conflicts of interest in science hit the headlines earlier this year following publication in the spring of a study by Tufts University in Science and Engineering Ethics. It...

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