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Disclosing conflicts ‘makes no difference’ to peer review

Image: Lucky Business, via Shutterstock

Call for overhaul of conflict of interest data in wake of randomised study of disclosure

Evidence-based medicine experts have called for a “system-wide strategy” to manage conflicts of interest in medicine, after a study showed disclosing such conflicts made little difference to the assessment of research.

A team led by Leslie John of Harvard University in the United States randomised over 800 researchers into two groups. One group received full conflict of interest disclosures before reviewing manuscripts, the other one received none. The team found that providing conflict of interest disclosures did not seem to change reviewers’ ratings of the quality of the research they were assessing.

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