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Disclosures of funding sources and conflicts of interest in published HIV/AIDS research conducted in developing countries

Klitzman, Robert L.; Chin, Lisa J.; Rifai-Bashjawish, Hoda; Kleinert, Kelly J.; Leu, Cheng Shiun

Objectives: Disclosures of funding sources and conflicts of interests (COI) in published peer-reviewed journal articles have recently begun to receive some attention, but many critical questions remain, for example, how often such reporting occurs concerning research conducted in the developing world and what factors may be involved.

Design: Of all articles indexed in Medline reporting on human subject HIV research in 2007 conducted in four countries (India, Thailand, Nigeria and Uganda), this study explored how many disclosed a funding source and COI, and what factors are involved.

Results: Of 221 articles that met the criteria, 67.9% (150) disclosed the presence or absence of a funding source, but only 20% (44) disclosed COI. Studies from Uganda were more likely, and those from Nigeria were less likely to mention a funding source (p<0.001). Of articles in journals that had adopted International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines, 56% did not disclose COI. Disclosure of funding was more likely when: ≥50% of the authors and the corresponding author were from the sponsoring country, the sponsor country was the USA, and the articles were published in journals in which more of the editors were from the sponsoring countries.

Conclusions: Of the published studies examined, over a third did not disclose funding source (ie, whether or not there was a funding source) and 80% did not disclose whether COI existed. Most articles in ICMJE-affiliated journals did not disclose COI. These data suggest the need to consider alteration of policies to require that published articles include funding and COI information, to allow readers to assess articles as fully as possible.

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Also Published In

Title
Journal of Medical Ethics
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1136/jme.2010.035394

More About This Work

Academic Units
Biostatistics
Psychiatry
Published Here
June 9, 2020