Because of COI, searching for the truth is difficult business.
Relationship between Funding Source and Conclusion among Nutrition-Related Scientific Articles
“The main finding of this study is that scientific articles about commonly consumed beverages funded entirely by industry were approximately four to eight times more likely to be favorable to the financial interests of the sponsors than articles without industry-related funding. Of particular interest, none of the interventional studies with all industry support had an unfavorable conclusion. Our study also documented industry sponsorship was very common during the study period, indicating considerable potential for introduction of bias into the biomedical literature. In view of the high consumption rates of these beverages, especially among children, the public health implications of this bias could be substantial.”
The influence of the team in conducting a systematic review
“Systematic reviews benefit from team working, and co-production is an essential part of high-quality research synthesis and healthcare decision [1, 2]. However, despite their reputation as transparent and rigorous products, they are influenced by the people who conduct them and this in turn could affect the resulting conclusions. A review team may comprise experienced systematic reviewers, information specialists, statisticians, and content experts, or, as no licence is required to conduct a systematic review, the review team may include none of these specialties. In this case, it may be wise to consider who is conducting the systematic review and why. The number of systematic reviews indexed in MEDLINE has increased threefold over the last decade  indicating a steady spread in their employment globally. However, as in primary research,  systematic reviews can vary hugely in their reporting quality or their methodological quality [5,6,7]. Indeed, many systematic reviews are receiving increasing criticism for failing to live up to their reputation as high-quality, well-conducted pieces of research [8, 9]. They can be susceptible to bias, for example, when reviews are conducted by people who have a stake in the conclusions (researcher allegiance) [10, 11]. Alternatively, reviews could be conducted carelessly, in the chosen methods of meta-analysis or study selection (meta-bias) , or by failing to report research misconduct even when identified . If flawed systematic reviews continue to be published, they risk losing their eminent position in the evidence hierarchy; therefore, closer examination of who might be conducting them, and how the output can be affected, is warranted.”
Pharmaceutical company funding and its consequences: A qualitative systematic review
“This article systematically reviews published studies of the association of pharmaceutical industry funding and clinical trial results, as well a few closely related studies. It reviews two earlier results, and surveys the recent literature. Results are clear: Pharmaceutical company sponsorship is strongly associated with results that favor the sponsors' interests.”
Systematic analysis underlying the quality of the scientific evidence and conflicts of interest in gastroenterology practice guidelines.
“Although the majority of the gastroenterology guidelines fail to grade the quality of evidence, more recent ACG guidelines grade majority of their recommendations. When the evidence is graded, most of the supporting evidence is based on lower-quality evidence. In addition, most of the guidelines fail to comment on COIs, and when disclosed, numerous COIs were present. This study highlights the critical need to revise the guideline development process. Future guidelines should clearly state the quality of evidence for their recommendations, utilize a standard grading system, and be transparent regarding all COIs.”
Systematic review: the quality of the scientific evidence and conflicts of interest in international inflammatory bowel disease practice guidelines
“The majority of IBD clinical practice guideline recommendations are based on low-quality evidence. Furthermore, the majority of guidelines fail to comment on potential COI, and when present, most of the authors report numerous COI. In addition, management recommendations vary between societies. This study highlights the need for improving the development of IBD practice guidelines. Recommendations would be improved by stronger supporting evidence, agreement between societies, up to date recommendations and transparency regarding all potential bias in the development process. Centralizing all IBD guidelines within an international group may help solve several of the issues. Given these concerns, clinicians must be cautious when utilizing the recommendations in published IBD practice guidelines.”
The Dirt on Coming Clean: Perverse Effects of Disclosing Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of interest can lead experts to give biased and corrupt advice. Although disclosure is often proposed as a potential solution to these problems, we show that it can have perverse effects. First, people generally do not discount advice from biased advisors as much as they should, even when advisors’ conflicts of interest are disclosed. Second, disclosure can increase the bias in advice because it leads advisors to feel morally licensed and strategically encouraged to exaggerate their advice even further. As a result, disclosure may fail to solve the problems created by conflicts of interest and may sometimes even make matters worse.
The truth about lies: A meta-analysis on dishonest behavior
“Over the past decade, a large and growing body of experimental research has analyzed dishonest behavior. Yet the findings as to when people engage in (dis)honest behavior are to some extent unclear and even contradictory. A systematic analysis of the factors associated with dishonest behavior thus seems desirable. This meta-analysis reviews four of the most widely used experimental paradigms: sender–receiver games, die-roll tasks, coin-flip tasks, and matrix tasks. We integrate data from 565 experiments (totaling N = 44,050 choices) to address many of the ongoing debates on who behaves dishonestly and under what circumstances. Our findings show that dishonest behavior depends on both situational factors, such as reward magnitude and externalities, and personal factors, such as the participant’s gender and age. Further, laboratory studies are associated with more dishonesty than field studies, and the use of deception in experiments is associated with less dishonesty. To some extent, the different experimental paradigms come to different conclusions. For example, a comparable percentage of people lie in die-roll and matrix tasks, but in die-roll tasks liars lie to a considerably greater degree. We also find substantial evidence for publication bias in almost all measures of dishonest behavior. Future research on dishonesty would benefit from more representative participant pools and from clarifying why the different experimental paradigms yield different conclusions.”
Each article we write, has aspirations of being a thesis. In addition to being able to identify COI, there are many things you should be aware of in creating a research article, like the quality of the journal where the research is published. The following e-learning module from University of New England covers the topic.