Reader Comments

Post a new comment on this article

Even more transparency please

Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:41 GMT

Author: susanne mccabe
Position: retired
Institution: No affiliation was given
Submitted Date: March 31, 2005
Published Date: March 31, 2005
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

Congratulations to PLoS for not fudging the need to deal with these issues. Could you go further? Should the Advisory Group be appointed by the Editors?..potential for bias right at the start...why not a totally open application system where readers can read information about applicants beforehand, take part in voting. Should the Advisory Group also declare any interests/connections? As PLoS is a totally open access journal, should there be an equal number of lay members?Should the appointments be made more democratic by making it a fixed term appointment? There are rewards as well as responsibilities attached; it would be good to spread these around and to prevent the potential for cliques developing - please no more of the same people moving from one committee/group to another, a democracy needs new voices, new thoughts. When decisions are being made, where it is possible without compromising confidentiality, try to include readers in the debate before a judgement/decision is made rather than always comment afterwards. Have regular postings from the Advisory group to include how many attend meetings; take care to involve all members of the Group in any matters relevant to the Group rather than contact individuals informally; keep records of informal and formal discussions. If members publish a Personal Opinion but still acknowledge one or more members of the Advisory Group for their help..can this seriously be a Personal Opinion still? (This has happened on other Ethics Committees) Are Guidelines needed?
Hope the comments are helpful and obviously no criticism of this Advisory Group is intended.

Competing interests declared: No competing interest but I have made ssimilar points with reference to the Ethics Committee of the BMJ