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PubMed-Indexed Abstracts to Include COI Statements

Expressions of concern will also be linked in study summaries. 

Apr 19, 2017
Tracy Vence

© BRYAN SATALINOLast year, in a letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and National Library of Medicine (NLM) Acting and Deputy Director Betsy Humphreys, more than 60 scientists and physicians requested that authors’ conflicts of interests accompany study abstracts indexed on PubMed. Last month, the NIH and NLM began doing just that.

In a March Technical Bulletin post, the NLM noted that “PubMed will include conflict of interest statements below the abstract when these statements are supplied by the publisher.” Publisher-provided disclosures will appear when a user clicks to expand a menu beneath the digital object identifier (doi) information on an abstract.

“Adding disclosures about researchers’ financial relationships with drug, food, chemical, and other industries makes PubMed search results even more useful than they already are,” Michael Jacobson, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which cosigned the 2016 letter to Collins and Humphreys, said in a statement. “We thank the National Library of Medicine for adding this feature and hope journalists who rely on PubMed make consistent use of it when reporting on studies related to nutrition and health.”

The NLM said it will also link expressions of concern in PubMed abstracts and move such notices up from the comments section to just below the author information.

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