Conflict of Interest Policy
Who is a Conflict of Interest Editor?
For the purpose of this policy, the term "conflict of interest editor" (COI editor) refers to anyone who wishes to edit the wiki or post in the forum and who:
- makes any money related to TMS,
- owns a website, and/or
- has any similar conflict of interest
If there is any possibility that you might be a COI editor, then if you choose to use this website, you are responsible for reading and understanding the entire COI policy. If you find the terms of the policy too onerous, you are welcome to leave the website. It is your responsibility to follow not just the letter but also the spirit of the policy.
TMS professionals and authors are a highly valued part of our community, and we strive to make them feel welcome. However, we take conflict of interest (COI) issues very seriously and hold our COI editors to very high standards regarding both actual COI problems and the appearance of COI problems. We think that the resulting policy is good for our community as a whole.
Editing the Main Wiki
COI editors are encouraged to edit non-COI content as much as they would like. However, they cannot and must not edit any information directly that is considered to be "COI content". We consider COI content to be:
- content about yourself or the products and services that you either sell or are directly connected to
- viewpoints that contradict the "consensus view" of TMS or Dr. Sarno's view of TMS, if you are a COI editor and that viewpoint is part of what you teach
- anything else where you wonder if there may be COI or the appearance of COI. If your gut tells you that it might be a gray area, then you should assume that it is COI content and use the procedures below
Eventually, we wish to have a different page for each TMS practitioner, author, book, DVD, and other materials. We want these pages to be full of high quality information. COI editors are welcome to help us achieve greater coverage of themselves and their products by sending us what they would like updated or added, so that a neutral party can review and post the new content. This maintains the integrity of the wiki while also keeping COI content thorough and up-to-date.
Editing User Pages
User pages, such as TMS practitioner Barbara Kline's page When Stress Hurts, differ from standard Wiki pages. As the content of user pages are explicitly that person's words and opinions, the COI policy for user pages differs:
- Authors of user pages are permitted to directly edit the content of their user pages
- Blatant advertising is not permitted. Any mention of products (books, programs, etc) should be linked to the TMS Wiki's page for that product, not an external site (the wiki page on the product can contain links off of the site, but you need to follow the process above to add them)
- An external link to personal/professional website is permitted
Note: administrators of this wiki have the right to edit any user page in order to enforce this policy.
Editing Wiki Pages by Proxy
If COI editors would like to add or edit content about themselves or their products to the TMS Wiki, they should first read the guidelines on the COI Edit Requests page.
The purpose of this COI policy is to ensure that people who add content to the TMS Wiki have no agenda other than furthering the mission of the PPD/TMS Peer Network. Anyone who has any other agenda (such as selling a product or service or helping a beloved TMS professional) may have their objectivity compromised. In this case, they should recognize their own conflict of interest and should use the COI Edit Requests page as an alternative method of achieving their agenda.
Because TMS patients often feel a tremendous debt to the TMS Professionals who helped them heal, their objectivity may be compromised. It is therefore a violation of the spirit of this COI policy to contact a patient or other interested party to have them make an edit involving COI content on your behalf. Similarly, the intent of the COI Edit Requests page is to create an environment where experienced editors can carefully review proposed edits, insisting that they meet high standards of the wiki for objectivity. So it is also a violation of the spirit of this COI policy to direct patients or other interested parties to the COI Edit Request board.
Any violations of this policy prior to March 4, 2009 are exempted from the policy.
If a wiki editor feels that a COI editor has violated this portion of the policy, s/he should contact the "proxy editor" and
- explain the importance of the COI policy to the health of the wiki
- direct them to this portion of the COI policy, explaining that all COI editors are responsible for understanding and complying with the entire policy
- ask them if they have been contacted by the COI editor
They should also contact Forest (at email@example.com) who is currently acting as a coordinator (and central store of information) for all COI issues.
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