Introduction and hypothesis: The ethical behavior of authors, editors, and journals is increasingly placed in the spotlight, by both the public and the research community. Disclosures and conflict of interest (COI) statements of publishing authors represent one important aspect. We aimed to unravel the current management of disclosures, COI, and funding statements in the subspecialty urogynecology.
Methods: A bibliometric study was carried out. We included six journals that published urogynecology articles between January and December 2013. All original articles, reviews, and opinion articles were assessed for the presence of disclosure/COI and funding statements. Information given on the official disclosure form was compared with information given in the final article (International Urogynecology Journal).
Results: All journals investigated require disclosure and funding statements in their instructions to authors. Of the 434 articles included, almost all contained a disclosure statement (98-100 %). Funding statements were present in 41-100 % of articles, indicating a difference in journal type (50 % on average among urogynecology journals; 75 % on average among general gynecology journals). The main source of funding was "grants" (58 %), followed by "none" (16 %), "industry" (16 %), and lastly "hospital/university" (10 %). Disclosure statements in the article were identical to the official disclosure form in 80 % (IUJ).
Conclusions: Disclosure/COI statements were included in almost all urogynecology articles investigated. Their content, however, is sometimes incomplete and should possibly be monitored more closely by journals and authors. Despite universal requirements of journals, the reporting of funding seems inconsistent. This issue in addition to the completeness of disclosures should be given more attention.
Keywords: Conflict of interest; Disclosure; Female pelvic medicine; Urogynecology.