Complying with Cochrane's Conflict of Interest policy

Date & Time
Monday, September 4, 2023, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location Name
Session Type
Workshop - training
Research integrity and fraud
Target audience
Cochrane Review authors, Cochrane editors, and anyone with a broad interest in conflicts of interest and authorship issues
Level of difficulty

Background: All Cochrane Library content must comply with Cochrane’s conflict of interest (CoI) policy, which applies to all individuals involved in creating Cochrane Library content. The Research Integrity team and Cochrane’s policy team are proposing this workshop to support authors, editors, and others interested in understanding the application of Cochrane’s CoI policy and its related editorial policy on authorship. Authors bear primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with both the CoI and authorship policies prior to submission of a completed article, and Cochrane managing editors check for policy adherence when receiving a completed submission. At this stage, it can be difficult to correct breaches of the CoI policy without creating new breaches of Cochrane’s authorship policy, such as ghost authorship (see “Conflict of interest and authorship” at Noncompliance discovered at submission or later may result in an article’s rejection, representing a major loss of effort for the author team and the loss of a timely article for the Cochrane Library.
Objectives: Engage participants in - analyzing case studies of author CoIs to determine whether they comply with the CoI policy; - discussion about interpreting and applying the CoI policy; and - Q&A about the cases and related CoI/authorship scenarios.
Description: Introduction (ca 15 minutes): Facilitators will introduce the framework of Cochrane’s CoI policy (2020), its connection to Cochrane’s editorial policy on authorship, and the most salient points for authors and editors. Case studies (three rounds, ca 20/25 minutes each): Participants will consult handouts showing the CoIs of a fictional author team, the topic of the fictional protocol or review, the text of Cochrane’s CoI and authorship policies, and CoI support documents. In small group discussions, participants will decide a) whether the authors comply with the CoI and authorship policies and b) whether and how compliance could be achieved, if there is a breach. Organizers will then seek participants’ decisions through an interactive on-screen survey and lead a whole-group discussion/Q&A for each case study. Conclusions (ca 5 minutes): Organizers will summarize support resources.

Hilton J1, Boughton S1
1Cochrane CET, UK