Conflict of interest in Peer-Reviewed medical journals: The World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) position on a challenging problem
Conflict of interest in medical publishing exists when a participant’s private interests compete with his or her responsibilities to the scientific community, readers, and society. While conflict of interest is common, it reaches the level of concern when “a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by his or her competing interests” (1). Having a competing interest does not, in itself, imply wrongdoing. But it can undermine the credibility of research results and damage public trust in medical journals.