The Editor of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery symbolizes the scientific integrity of the Association, so should permit no inappropriate external influence on his/her efforts on behalf of the Journal, nor appearance of such. Therefore, the Editor shall not serve as Editor of any other cardiothoracic publication nor serve on any editorial board for such a publication. Because of the special role of the Editor, he/she shall immediately terminate all relationships with Interested Companies, shall place in a blind trust1 any investments in Interested Companies, and shall not communicate with any Interested Company about any possible future relationship. The Editor and his immediate family may not have any financial interest in or be serving in an advisory capacity to any commercial entity which develops or markets products or services used in the field of cardiothoracic surgery (an "Interested Company") nor serve as faculty on any industry sponsored cardiothoracic surgical educational program. It is permissible for the Editor and his immediate family to participate in a blind trust or other passive investment vehicles such as mutual funds.
Associate/Section Editors, members of the Editorial Board, the Editors and associate editors of Seminars, Op/Techs and Pediatric Annual, Thoracic Surgery News, the Web Editor, any or all other AATS print or electronic publications ("Other Editors") may serve as editors or on the editorial boards of other cardiothoracic surgical publications but must disclose such service to the Council, the Editor and the Publications Committee.
To identify circumstances that might unduly influence the Other Editors, each shall disclose (a) if he/she has received or is receiving any benefit from, or has served or is serving in an advisory capacity to, any commercial entity which develops or markets products or services used in the field of cardiothoracic surgery (an "Interested Company") or has served or is serving as faculty on any industry sponsored cardiothoracic surgical educational program, (b) if he/she or a member of his/her family2 or a member of his/her department holds a patent on, or other economic interest in, a product or process used in the field of cardiothoracic surgery or has a financial or other relationship3 with an Interested Company or (c) if he/she or members of his/her family, department or partners has received a research grant or any other type of benefit from an Interested Company.
The Editor and each Other Editor shall provide annually a statement disclosing any such information, in a form prescribed by the Council, and shall promptly update the information in writing whenever a relevant new development occurs. The Other Editors shall provide the disclosure statement and updates to the Council, the Editor and the Publications Committee. On the basis of information about any conflict or appearance of conflict, the Council may give the Editor special direction aimed at minimizing any appearance of a conflict of interest, and the Council, the Editor, or the Publications Committee may do the same for the Other Editors. Council may, at its own discretion, require any Other Editor to terminate specified activities or relationships. No Other Editor shall be assigned any responsibilities for a particular paper dealing with subject matter as to which that Other Editor has an actual or potential conflict of interest, as disclosed to the Council, the Editor, and the Publications Committee.
Any actual or potential conflict of interest on the part of an author or a guest reviewer can also compromise the integrity and reputation of the Journal, so each author submitting a manuscript and each guest reviewer shall also disclose, in a written statement submitted to the Editor in a form prescribed by the Council, all information of the types described in the third paragraph of this policy statement and shall promptly update the Editor in writing in the event of any relevant new development.
Adopted by the AATS Council on May 6, 2007.
1 Blind Trusts shall be a trust that retains the settlor’s rights to terminate the trust, but which relinquishes all power over the trust’s management; i.e. the beneficiaries do not have knowledge of the trust’s specific assets, and in which a fiduciary third party has complete management discretion.
2 Including spouses, offspring, parents, siblings and brothers- and sisters-in-law.
3 Including (1) a financial interest of $10,000 or more (e.g., through ownership of stock, stock options, or bonds), (2) the receipt of $10,000 or more in cash, goods or services within the most recent 12-month period (e.g., through research grants, employment , consulting fees, royalties, travel or gifts), or (3) a non-remunerative position of influence (e.g., as an officer, director, trustee or public spokesperson). Excluded from such required disclosures are financial relationships that are held in blind trusts and other passive, broad spectrum investment vehicles such as mutual funds.