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ICMJE recommendations update: what you need to know


KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The ICMJE has updated their Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.
  • Key update stipulates that results can be published in medical journals even if they have been previously included in health technology assessment or medical regulators’ reports.

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals were updated in May 2022. An annotated PDF of the recommendations is freely available and can be found here.

The ICMJE Recommendations guide accurate and unbiased reporting of industry-sponsored clinical trial data in medical journals. The two key updates in this version concern:

  • Duplicate publication: results or data contained in reports published by health technology assessment agencies or regulatory agencies are no longer considered to be duplicate publications.
  • Reporting of trial participants: authors should discuss how representative the study sample is of the larger population of interest; in cases where race or ethnicity data were not collected, authors should explain why not.

The guidance has been welcomed by industry campaigners, who in January 2022 wrote an open letter to ICMJE, requesting an update to the recommendations on duplicate publications to allow more rapid dissemination of data to the public and easier development of economic evaluations and indirect comparison analyses.

We look forward to seeing these recommendations implemented and hope the updated guidance will contribute to more timely and transparent reporting of medical research.

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Do you agree with the updates to the ICMJE recommendations?

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