Competing interests: Judged in perpetuity

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Full disclosure of competing interests is necessary so that readers can judge the conduct, validity, merit and reporting of research (Nature 488, 5; 2012). But this needs to go beyond simply revealing financial connections, because conflict with non-financial interests can sometimes be more serious (D. F. Horrobin Br. Med. J. 318, 464; 1999).

Arguably, anyone who writes in a scientific journal may be biased in some way or another. Authors who are tempted not to disclose competing interests need to remember that readers continue to act as 'peer reviewers' after publication.

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Correspondence to Thomas C. Erren.

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Erren, T. Competing interests: Judged in perpetuity. Nature 488, 590 (2012).

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