Conflict of Interest Policy

Conflict of Interest policy

UpToDate's policies and editorial process are designed to ensure that our content remains impartial and unbiased. To accomplish this, we collect information on relevant financial relationships within the previous two years with commercial interests from contributors as well as their spouses or partners. Contributors to a topic include one or more authors, section editors, and deputy editors, identified at the top of each topic. Anonymous peer review is also part of our editorial process. Individuals who do not provide this information may not participate in the editorial process and are replaced. Disclosures of relevant financial relationships from contributors and their spouses or partners are displayed via a link at the top of each topic.

Deputy editors are physicians who work primarily at UpToDate. The deputy editor cannot have any financial relationships relevant to the topics they edit. In addition, deputy editors may not accept funds from "educational" arms of health industry organizations (such as speakers' bureaus).

A primary responsibility of the deputy editor is to prevent inappropriate material from being published in UpToDate topic reviews. The deputy editor on a topic works to ensure that any possible author and editor conflicts are appropriately evaluated and mitigated. Methods of mitigation include peer review, revision or elimination of content, and/or replacement of contributors. The Editor-in-Chief appoints a Conflicts of Interest Committee to review issues as they arise.

Possible conflicts are also addressed through requirements for references to be provided to support the content. Appropriately referenced content is required of all authors and must conform to UpToDate standards of evidence.

Contributor disclosures are collected annually and reviewed for relevant conflicts of interest by the editorial group. When found, the deputy editor on the associated topic(s) works to ensure that any possible contributor conflicts are appropriately evaluated and mitigated. These methods are part of our normal editorial process as discussed above.

This policy was last reviewed on November 19, 2019.