Dove Press Fails to Insist on Full
Conflict-of-Interest Disclosure by Several Authors

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Dove Medical Press offers "open access" that requires payment of a processing fee as a condition of publication. It's Web site lists 93 journals, 72 of which are currently indexed by PubMed. In February 2018, I asked Dove quality-control officials to investigate a series of 20 articles by Marty Hinz, M.D. and colleagues that I believe did not fully disclose their financial conflicts of interest. The conflict-of-interest guidelines of International Committee of Journal of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) state that authors should:

The journals that published the 20 articles are on ICMJE's list of subscribers to its guidelines [2]. The guidelines also state that corrections should be published as soon as possible and incorporated in a new version of the relevant article [3].

For many years, Hinz has claimed that amino acid supplements can improve Parkinson's disease and various other conditions by balancing neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain. Since the mid-1990s, he has developed a network of companies that market his ideas and clinics that use his protocols to treat patients [4]. Between 2009 and 2016, Dove Press published 20 articles that his network uses for promotional purposes. In my opinion, full disclosure of the relevant conflicts of interest should disclose the following:

However, checking the disclosure statements, I found the following deficits [5]:

In February 2018, I asked Dove Press's quality-control officials to remedy the lack of adequate disclosure. Dove immediately acknowledged my first message and has told me several times they are giving the matter high priority. However, sixteen months have passed without any publicly visible action. I don't doubt their sincerity, but I believe they are taking too long.

Ivan Oranzky, M.D., of Retraction Watch agrees that Dove is taking far too long to adjudicate the conflict-of-interest portion of my complaint [6].

References

  1. Recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing and publication of scholarly work in medical journals. ICMJE Web site, accessed Feb 25, 2019.
  2. ICMJE form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. ICMJE, April 26, 2013.
  3. Corrections, retractions, republications and version control. ICMJE Web site, accessed Feb 25, 2019.
  4. Barrett S. A skeptical look at Marty Hinz and his views of "neurotransmitter-related diseases." Quackwatch, June 30, 2019..
  5. Barrett S. Recommended conflict-of-interest disclosures for Hinz papers. Quackwatch, March 9, 2019.
  6. Oransky I. Conflicts of disinterest: Why does it take a publisher 18 months, and counting, to correct papers? Retraction Watch, August 7, 2019.

This article was revised on August 7, 2019.

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