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Why We Have Speaker Disclosures

Why We Have Speaker Disclosures

Speaker disclosures are forms that are given in advance to a speaker to fill in before attending a conference. Generally, it requires the speaker to declare information pertaining to any conflict in relation to the presentation, what he/she will/will not discuss in the presentation and the financial relationships.

The intention of having speaker disclosures is to not to hinder him from presenting but rather to inform the audience of possible bias he might be having. It is given out to be filled prior to a conference to allow the planning committees know in advance who is supposed to attend the conference and who not to include. Since it is usually a requirement, those who do not fill it are excluded from making their presentations.

Speaker disclosures typically just ask for a few pieces of information

  • Where do you work
  • Who is paying you to do research
  • What other organizations are you affiliated with

Getting this information however can often be annoying — especially when a presentation has lots of co-presenters. ¬†Conference planners might keep an excel spreadsheet and send out email disclosures for completion.

Speaker disclosures once collected, need to find their way into a program book, usually alongside an author index.  Often the same speaker may be presenting multiple papers, in various roles, so tabulating and de-duplicating this information often is a manual process.

Most abstract software has built in tools for handling speaker disclosures — collecting them and preparing them for the conference should not be a challenge. The earlier you can get them, the easier it will be to organize everything for and including the speakers for the big day.