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Ann Emerg Med. 2019 Apr 5. pii: S0196-0644(19)30142-8. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2019.02.020. [Epub ahead of print]

Financial Conflicts of Interest Among Emergency Medicine Journals' Editorial Boards.

Author information

1
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH. Electronic address: jxn187@case.edu.
2
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH.
3
Department of Emergency Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and JAMA Network Open, Chicago, IL.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

We aim to characterize the prevalence of financial conflicts of interest among emergency medicine journal editorial board members.

METHODS:

We conducted a cross-sectional study of editorial board members of leading peer-reviewed emergency medicine journals. A list of highly cited emergency medicine journals was curated with Journal Citation Reports and Google Scholar Metrics. Financial conflicts of interest were obtained by curating the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Open Payments database for the most recently available data (2017). The outcomes of this study were prevalence of financial conflicts of interest and frequency of disclosure on each journal's Web site.

RESULTS:

Editorial boards of the top 5 journals were analyzed. Of the 198 unique US-based physician-editors, 60 (30.3%) had a financial conflict of interest documented as general or research-based payments. The 52 editors with general payments had a median of 2 payments (interquartile range [IQR] 1 to 8.25), with a median of $202 (IQR $69 to $7,386); the maximum general payment was $115,730 received from industry. For research payments, 26 editors (13.1%) had a median 4 payments (IQR 2 to 9), with a median of $47,095 (IQR $5,328 to $126,025) and maximum of $3,590,000 received from industry. Seven editors in one of the emergency medicine journals included in this study publicly disclosed competing interests; dollar amounts were not reported.

CONCLUSION:

Nearly one third of US-based editors at leading emergency medicine journals had financial conflicts of interest, although only one journal publicly disclosed the presence of payments. Public disclosure of editorial board members' financial relationships with industry may allow for more transparency related to the content published in these journals.

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