NEJM Journal Watch has established a guideline for editorial independence as delineated below. The guideline generally follows that created by the World Association of Medical Editors.
- NEJM Journal Watch is operated by NEJM Group, which is owned by the not-for-profit Massachusetts Medical Society. The mission of the society includes the goal to “…to do all things as may be necessary to advance medical knowledge....” Governance of the MMS is in part through a Board of Trustees and an Executive Director to whom the Editor-in-Chief of NEJM Group (currently, Dr. Jeffrey Drazen) reports. A twelve-member Committee on Publications advises and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding NEJM Group publishing-related matters.
Of note, business matters related to NEJM Group products are the responsibility of General Managers assigned to each product. This organizational structure enhances the separation of business and editorial activities within NEJM Group.
- The Clinical Strategy Editor (currently, Dr. Jonathan Adler) is responsible for independent leadership of NEJM Journal Watch editorial operations. The Clinical Strategy Editor reports to the Editor-in-Chief, NEJM Group, for all editorial matters.
- Each individual NEJM Journal Watch publication has one or more Editor-in-Chief, plus one for CME. These Editors-in-Chief each have their own boards, totaling over 100 contributing NEJM Journal Watch clinician authors and editors.
- The Editor-in-Chief, NEJM Group, warrants that the Clinical Strategy Editor has full authority over the content of NEJM Journal Watch and its related offerings. This includes summaries and comments on recent medical advances, opinions, blogs and Physician’s First Watch news. The Editor-in-Chief, NEJM Group, does not participate in selection or curation of content and does not modify or adjust any wording of individual pieces. Further, the MMS leadership and the Committee on Publications seek to foster an environment of editorial independence and to avoid structure or opportunity to influence specific content.
- Content-related decisions are based on quality, importance, and value to the users of NEJM Journal Watch. Contributing authors, editors, NEJM Journal Watch staff, and the Clinical Strategy Editor are free to express responsible positions – even if these views are not in agreement with interests, policies or published research, editorial or commentary of New England Journal of Medicine or the MMS.
Specifically with regard to NEJM Journal Watch and the New England Journal of Medicine — each has editorial operations that are completely separate and independent.
- In its coverage of the medical literature, NEJM Journal Watch does not extend any sort of special treatment to the New England Journal of Medicine.
- Any packaging or combined offering of NEJM Journal Watch and other NEJM Group products or content does not affect the independence of editorial decision-making.
- NEJM Journal Watch actively seeks input regarding editorial matters from the physician Editors-in-Chief in an advisory capacity, as well as from the other editorial board members, internal editorial staff, and readers. The Clinical Strategy Editor presents updates to, and requests guidance from, the MMS Committee on Publications on an ongoing basis.
- Editors-in-Chief of the individual NEJM Journal Watch publications, the Clinical Strategy Editor, and the Editor-in-Chief, NEJM Group, are empowered to create content and commentary free of commercial and organizational influence. All authors and editors operate without conflict of interest and all potential conflicts are disclosed (see Conflict of Interest Policy).
Effective June 25, 2013