Defining Financial Conflicts and Managing Research Relationships: An Analysis of University Conflict of Interest Committee Decisions
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- Boyd, E.A. & Bero, L.A. Sci Eng Ethics (2007) 13: 415. doi:10.1007/s11948-007-9041-6
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Despite a decade of federal regulation and debate over the appropriateness of financial ties in research and their management, little is known about the actual decision-making processes of university conflict of interest (COI) committees. This paper analyzes in detail the discussions and decisions of three COI committees at three public universities in California. University committee members struggle to understand complex financial relationships and reconcile institutional, state, and federal policies and at the same time work to protect the integrity of the scientific process, the autonomy and intellectual freedom of their faculty colleagues and students, and the financial interests of the university.