Guidelines for Observers at IARC Monograph Meetings

IARC appreciates the interest of all parties in seeing that the Monographs are the outcome of a rigorous scientific assessment free from conflict of interest. These Guidelines are meant to convey a common understanding of the conduct expected from Observers at IARC Monographs meetings.

In the spirit of transparency, Observers with relevant scientific credentials are welcome to attend IARC Monographs meetings. Observers can play a valuable role in ensuring that all published information and scientific perspectives are considered. Like all other meeting participants, Observers complete the WHO Declaration of Interests, which covers financial interests, employment and consulting, and individual and institutional research support related to the subject of the meeting. Pertinent interests will be disclosed to the meeting participants and in the published volume of IARC Monographs.

The chair may grant Observers an opportunity to speak in plenary or subgroup sessions, usually after they have observed a discussion of scientific data. Observers do not serve as meeting chair or subgroup chair, draft or revise any part of a Monograph, or contribute to the evaluation in any way, including speaking during the evaluation phase of the meeting.

Implicit in the term "Observer" is the responsibility to observe the meeting and not to attempt to influence its outcome. This includes — before, during and after the meeting —

- Not to contact participants before or after the meeting or to lobby them at any time.

- Not to send written materials to meeting participants. Pertinent scientific studies that are published or accepted for publication by the date of the meeting and government reports in their final form may be sent to IARC.

- Not to sit at the table with the experts in subgroup and in plenary.

- Not to offer meals, drinks, social invitations, or other favours to meeting participants.

Participants are asked to report any contact or attempt to influence that they may encounter, either before or during the meeting.

To provide an atmosphere conducive to free and frank discussion, Observers may not make a written transcript, audio or video recording, or audio or video transmission of any part of the meeting. Reporting, blogging, or otherwise making public statements, including via social media, is not allowed during the course of the meeting and until the press embargo has been lifted.

Attendance at an IARC Monographs meeting is a privilege granted by invitation. By attending the meeting Observers agree to abide by these guidelines and those established by the Monographs Preamble. Lack of cooperation may result in an Observer being asked to leave the meeting and the reason being disclosed.

April 2015