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Conflict over competing interests

journals review policy after criticism of author for nondisclosure of financial interests

Susan Mayor(Susan@Mayor.dircon.co.uk)

The publishers of the Nature family of journals are considering extending their policy on disclosure of interests to all the types of articles they publish, after the author of a review article published in Nature Neuroscience was criticized for failing to reveal a potential conflict of interest.

Robert T. Rubin, director of the Center for Neurosciences Research, Allegheny General Hospital, and Bernard J. Carroll, director of the Pacific Behavioral Research Foundation, criticized the review of treatments for mood disorders—published in Nature Neuroscience in October 2002—for not disclosing significant financial interests of one of the authors in three therapies that were reviewed favorably.

Rubin and Carroll wrote to the Nature publishing group in February 2003, asking that it publish a letter in which they described the review author's conflicts. Charles G. Jennings, executive editor of Nature research journals, replied to them with a letter explaining that the company had no...

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