Most medical journals carry advertising, which generates income for their publishers, but journals should not be dominated by advertisements, and advertising must not be allowed to influence editorial decisions.

Journals should have formal, explicit, written policies for advertising in both print and electronic versions. Best practice prohibits selling advertisements intended to be juxtaposed with editorial content on the same product. Advertisements should be clearly identifiable as advertisements. Editors should have full and final authority for approving print and online advertisements and for enforcing advertising policy.

Journals should not carry advertisements for products proven to be seriously harmful to health. Editors should ensure that existing regulatory or industry standards for advertisements specific to their country are enforced, or develop their own standards. The interests of organizations or agencies should not control classified and other nondisplay advertising, except where required by law. Editors should consider all criticisms of advertisements for publication.

Next: Journals and the Media