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JNMA J Nepal Med Assoc. 2013 Apr-Jun;52(190):357-60.

Conflict of interest - serious issue on publication ethics for Indian medical journals.

Author information

Department of Physiology,BLDE University's Sri B.M. Patil Medical College, Bijapur-586103, Karnataka, India.
Department of Surgery, BLDE University's Sri B.M. Patil Medical College, Bijapur-586103, Karnataka, India.
Institute of Child Health, Kolkata-700017, India.
Department of E.N.T. and Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. P.S. Institute of Medical Sciences and R.F., Gannavaram, A.P, India.



There are several vested interest lies on research publication hence the editorial policy is the sole important factor to control and regulate ethical publications in medical sciences especially on 'conflict of interest' issue. The study was aimed to assess on awareness of 'conflict of interest' issue in medical research and publication among the editorial staff, peer reviewers and authors of Indian medical journals.


Total 61 authors who have published research articles recently in Indian medical journals from 2008-2012, 56 peer reviewers who reviewed the manuscripts during same period and 35 editorial board members of various Indian medical journals were assessed by questionnaire and telephone interview regarding their understanding and knowledge on 'conflict of interest' issue for ethical publication.


Only seven (12%) of the authors knew about the 'conflict of interest' issue and 11 (19%) of the medical authors have just heard about it. Out of 12% of authors who knew 'conflict of interest' issue only 15% provided that statement to the journals. Among the peer reviewers only 17 (30%) knew about 'conflict of interest' of which 51 (91.5%) stated that they do not bother about this issue while reviewing the manuscripts. But interestingly 42 (75%) of the peer reviewers confessed that they had a bias on the topics written by their friends or students. Among the editorial board members of Indian medical journals only 14 (25%) have any idea on 'conflict of interest issue'.


Results clearly shows poor understanding of 'conflict of interest' like important ethical issue among Indian medical scientists or journals.

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