Disclosure of interests of ISRHML officers
Transparency, defined as “disclosing the existence of a financial relationship,” is a necessary first step in mitigating the potential of financial relationships that may create bias. Transparency can help to mitigate the potential for influence in an activity. Therefore, any relationships between ISRHML officers and commercial companies should be transparently disclosed to the ISRHML membership at the time of elections, including the financial support they receive privately and on accounts of their institutions, and the sources thereof.
It is important to recognize that not all relationships between ISRHML officers and commercial entities are problematic. A relationship that is only indirectly related to an activity, modest in scope, or distant in time is not likely to adversely affect the activity in question. For example, having conducted sponsored research governed by an academic institution of a researcher, or accepting a modest honorarium for speaking on behalf of a company, does not necessarily create a bias. Financial support from a variety of sources is more likely to reduce the potential influence of one source of support. Financial relationships that are direct or substantial, however, may have the potential to undermine confidence in scientific or educational activities, even if they do not actually compromise those activities. Examples of a direct or substantial financial interest may include ownership or equity interest in a company that has an interest in the subject matter, significant royalties, or employment. Relationships that involve responsibilities on behalf of the funder (such as service on a corporate board of directors) or decision-making authority in financial matters can be similarly problematic.