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 from contributors on financial relationships within the previous two years with ineligible companies or other organizations that have the potential to bias the content. 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 their disclosure information may not participate in the editorial process and are replaced. Disclosures of relevant financial relationships from contributors are displayed via a link at the top of each topic.
Deputy editors are physicians who work primarily at UpToDate. The deputy editors themselves cannot have any active financial relationships relevant to the topics they edit. Any financial relationships within two years of employment are included via a link at the top of their topics. 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. The Editor-in-Chief appoints a Conflicts of Interest Committee to review issues as they arise. Methods of mitigation, as directed by the Conflicts of Interest Committee plus the Editor-in-Chief, include peer review, revision or elimination of content, and/or replacement of contributors.
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) and the Conflicts of Interest Committee work to ensure that all relevant financial relationships have been evaluated and mitigated. These methods are part of our normal editorial process as discussed above.
This policy was last reviewed on November 8, 2021.