Conflict-of-Interest Disclosures to : The Relevance of Industry-Reported PaymentsThe Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery: The Relevance of Industry-Reported Payments

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Academic journals such as The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS) require disclosures of financial relationships that authors report as potential conflicts of interest. Because industry payments can take various forms, including food and beverage, consulting, or research payments, the purpose of this study was to determine which categories of industry-reported payments were most frequently considered by authors as irrelevant to their specific publication, and therefore not included in their journal disclosures.


Author disclosures were collected from scientific articles published in JBJS in 2016. Payments reported by authors as relevant to the published article were compared with industry-reported payments from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Open Payments Database (OPD), which includes all payments to eligible physicians in the United States. The number of authors with payments found in the OPD and appearing in publication-specific disclosures was determined for each payment type. Of note, OPD data are not indicative of relevance to a particular publication; therefore, the accuracy of author disclosures could not be determined in this study.


A total of 747 eligible authors were included; 60.5% of authors did not report at least 1 payment from their OPD report in their publication-specific disclosures, most frequently representing industry payments for food and beverage (55.7%), followed by travel and lodging (26.9%). Payments for consulting (16.3%), royalties (8.2%), research (8.4%), and ownership interests (1.5%) were not considered to be relevant disclosures for specific journal articles by authors at lower rates than those for food and beverage and for travel and lodging.


Authors publishing in JBJS were more likely to conclude that industry-reported payments in the OPD for food and beverage and for travel and lodging were irrelevant for specific publications (as disclosed to the journal) than payments for consulting, royalties, research, and ownership interests.

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