Most medical journals carry advertising, which generates income for their publishers, but advertising must not be allowed to influence editorial decisions. Journals should have formal, explicit, written policies for advertising in both print and electronic versions; Web site advertising policy should parallel that for the printed journals. Editors must have full and final authority for approving advertisements and enforcing advertising policy.
When possible, editors should make use of the judgments of independent bodies for reviewing advertising. Readers should be able to distinguish readily between advertising and editorial material. The juxtaposition of editorial and advertising material on the same products or subjects should be avoided. Interspersing advertising pages within articles interrupts the flow of editorial content and should be discouraged. Advertising should not be sold on the condition that it will appear in the same issue as a particular article.
Journals should not be dominated by advertising, but editors should be careful about publishing advertisements from only one or two advertisers, as readers may perceive that these advertisers have influenced the editor.
Journals should not carry advertisements for products that have proved to be seriously harmful to health—for example, tobacco. Editors should ensure that existing regulatory or industry standards for advertisements specific to their country are enforced, or develop their own standards. The interests of organizations or agencies should not control classified and other nondisplay advertising, except where required by law. Finally, editors should consider all criticisms of advertisements for publication.
Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM)
- Statement of Purpose
- Ethical Considerations
- Authorship and Contributorship
- Peer Review
- Conflicts of Interest
- Privacy and Confidentiality
- Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research
- Publishing and Editorial Issues
- Obligation to Publish Negative Studies
- Corrections, Retractions, and "Expressions of Concern"
- Overlapping Publications
- Supplements, Theme Issues, and Special Series
- Electronic Publishing
- Medical Journals and the General Media
- Obligation to Register Clinical Trials
- Manuscript Preparation