The Association of American Medical Colleges, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Council of Medical Specialty Societies, JAMA, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (“Harmonization Host Organizations”) hosted a symposium at the AAMC's headquarters in 2019 with leaders from across the biomedical research community to discuss harmonizing requirements for disclosure of authors’ financial interests and relationships in biomedical journals. Attendees outlined the actions needed to harmonize disclosures and ways to build greater transparency and consistency around disclosure requirements, recommending the immediate establishment of three connected working groups ("Working Groups on Harmonization") to develop principles and recommendations for implementation across the research community. The "Working Groups on Harmonization" (i.e., Working Groups on Relevancy, Uniform Disclosure Criteria, and Implementation and Principles of Accountability), met over a course of six months to develop what is further described in the Recommendations Report as the “Harmonized Disclosure Framework.”
Harmonization of Financial Disclosure in Biomedical Journals: A Shared Responsibility (PDF)
Next Steps - Implementation and Adoption
The Harmonization Framework was intentionally designed for broad implementation across domestic and international journals, as well as other stakeholders, including academic institutions, professional societies, scientific congresses, continuing medical education community, healthcare providers, federal funding agencies, advisory panels, and grant-making organizations. The Framework was also developed to be easily updated in response to potential changes to the disclosure landscape (e.g., regulatory, policy, professional standards) and with the flexibility for implementation in tandem with a journal’s/organization’s current disclosure policies and procedures.
To learn how your organization can participate in implementation of the Harmonization Disclosure Framework or receive updates on ongoing activities, email Daria Grayer.
Symposium on Harmonization Materials
- Symposium Agenda
- Symposium Summary (high-level synopsis of key themes and next steps)
- International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Disclosure Form Updated, No Change to Recommendations (February 2021)
- A Disclosure Form for Work Submitted to Medical Journals, A Proposal From the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (January 2020)
- Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education (December 2020)
News and Publications
- Changes to the Standards for Integrity and Independence in Continuing Medical Education (McMahon, JAMA, April 2021)
- Scientists Who Discredited Meat Guidelines Didn't Report Past Food Industry Ties (NY Times, 2019)
The Integrity of our Research Depends on the Full Disclosure of Industry Relationships (AAMC News, 2018)
Conflicts of Interests, Authors, and Journals - New Challenges for a Persistent Problem (JAMA, 2018); related: Conflict of Interest and Medical Journals (JAMA, 2017)
Harmonizing Reporting on Potential Conflicts of Interest: A Common Disclosure Process for Health Care and Life Sciences (Institute of Medicine Discussion Paper, 2012); concurrent JAMA Viewpoint: Toward a Harmonized and Centralized Conflict of Interest Disclosure, Progress From an IOM Initiative (2012)
Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice (Institute of Medicine Report, 2009)
For questions regarding this initiative, please contact:
- Heather Pierce, Senior Director for Science Policy and Regulatory Counsel.
- Daria Grayer, Senior Lead Specialist for Science Policy and Regulations.