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Editors' conflicting interests remain in the shadows
  1. Harvey Marcovitch
  1. Correspondence to Dr Harvey Marcovitch, Honeysuckle House, Balscote OX15 6JW, UK; h.marcovitch{at}

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It seems that all is not plain sailing when navigating the homepages of journals to identify their policies towards editorial conflicts of interest (COI), and the editors' actual declarations. So say Smith et al in their accompanying paper searching the ‘top ten’ medical journals (by impact factor).1

In the last decade, the risks to scientific integrity of authorial and reviewer COIs have come under increasing scrutiny. Could editors be the last bastion of privilege, or does this small study merely expose poor website design? Editors hold a powerful position as gatekeepers to knowledge. It would be shameful if any of them departed from strictly intellectual grounds for accepting or rejecting a submission, and particularly shameful if decisions were perverted by financial interest. Thus, readers are entitled to know if …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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