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PLoS Medicine Issue Image | Vol. 7(10) October 2010

PLoS Medicine Issue Image | Vol. 7(10) October 2010

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Increased responsibility and transparency in an era of increased visibility.

Journals need to develop policies to handle the inevitable competing interests that arise when they publish papers that may bring them reprint revenue or increase their impact factors. This is the conclusion of a research article by Andreas Lundh and colleagues from the Nordic Cochrane Centre published in the October issue of PLoS Medicine. An accompanying perspective by Harvey Marcovitch, ex-chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), discusses this issue further, concluding that journals should apply the same degree of transparency that they require from authors, to themselves.

The PLoS Medicine editors discuss the standpoints of the two papers in the October Editorial entitled "Increased Responsibility and Transparency in an Era of Increased Visibility." The Editors, who have posted their own journal's income on the competing interests page of the journal, conclude that "The internet has spurred an intellectual revolution in the dissemination of medical information. Journals have thus far been accepted as one of the most trusted sources of information. It's clear, however, that in order to maintain that trust, journals and editors need to continue to consider all the pressures that can arise in publishing and put in place robust, transparent procedures for handling all the potential conflicts that can arise, whether they are those of authors, editors, or the journals themselves.

Image Credit: Nic McPhee

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Increased responsibility and transparency in an era of increased visibility.

Journals need to develop policies to handle the inevitable competing interests that arise when they publish papers that may bring them reprint revenue or increase their impact factors. This is the conclusion of a research article by Andreas Lundh and colleagues from the Nordic Cochrane Centre published in the October issue of PLoS Medicine. An accompanying perspective by Harvey Marcovitch, ex-chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), discusses this issue further, concluding that journals should apply the same degree of transparency that they require from authors, to themselves.

The PLoS Medicine editors discuss the standpoints of the two papers in the October Editorial entitled "Increased Responsibility and Transparency in an Era of Increased Visibility." The Editors, who have posted their own journal's income on the competing interests page of the journal, conclude that "The internet has spurred an intellectual revolution in the dissemination of medical information. Journals have thus far been accepted as one of the most trusted sources of information. It's clear, however, that in order to maintain that trust, journals and editors need to continue to consider all the pressures that can arise in publishing and put in place robust, transparent procedures for handling all the potential conflicts that can arise, whether they are those of authors, editors, or the journals themselves.

Image Credit: Nic McPhee

https://doi.org/10.1371/image.pmed.v07.i10.g001