PEER-REVIEWED MEDICAL journals are increasingly involved in dilemmas created by complex financial relationships between their scientist authors and the world of business.
To accomplish the journal mission, editors and reviewers must be aware of any conflicts of interest and create a system and environment where any associated bias is minimized.
Approximately 20 years ago Herbert Boyer, a professor of molecular biology at the University of California, San Francisco, founded the Genentech Corporation, San Francisco. Since then, the rise of biotechnology companies with university affiliations has necessitated detailed contracts to balance academic and scientific ideals with corporate business needs. Patents, license agreements, publishing rights, and similar issues have required compromises on both sides. In the smaller universe of facial plastic surgery research, our authors work closely not only with biotechnology companies but with many others as well to develop biomaterials, lasers, new surgical devices, etc. These are usually positive partnerships where the physicians bring new ideas and the ability to evaluate them to a company with the resources to create technology that potentially helps our patients. Many of our most creative researchers have close relationships to biomedical companies. These corporations also benefit the scientific and educational programs of our medical societies.