Guidelines for Observers at IARC Monograph Meetings

IARC appreciates the interest all parties have in seeing that the Monographs are the outcome of a rigorous scientific assessment free from any attempt at interference. 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. The chair may grant Observers an opportunity to speak, generally after they have observed a discussion. Observers do not serve as meeting chair or subgroup chair, draft any part of a Monograph, or participate in the evaluations.

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

- Not to contact participants before 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 may be sent to IARC.

- 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 commenting about the meeting is not allowed during the course of the meeting and until the press embargo has been lifted.

Observers must 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.

Attendance at an IARC Monographs meeting is a privilege granted by invitation. Lack of cooperation with these Guidelines may result in an Observer being asked to leave the meeting and the reason disclosed to the meeting participants.


January 2011