- Conflicts of interest (CoI) comprise those which may not be fully apparent and which may influence the judgment of the author, reviewers, and editors. They have been described as those that, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived. They may be personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial.
- "Conflict of Interest" is required for all types of submissions.
- Authors are expected to provide detailed information about any relevant financial interests or financial conflicts within the past 5 years and for the foreseeable future.
- Authors who have no relevant financial interests are asked to provide a statement indicating that they have no financial interests related to the material in the manuscript.
What matters Authors must declare in their CoI?
Conflict of Interests must be stated clearly (during submission) to prevent overlooked or misplaced information on potential interests. A declared conflict of interest will not automatically result in the rejection of a paper but the editors reserve the right to publish any declared conflict of interest alongside the acceptance.
Two types of competing interests are defined as financial and non-financial interests:
1) Financial competing interests:
The author (s) must clearly state any of the following:
- Funding: Research support (including salaries, equipment, supplies, and other expenses) by organizations that may gain or lose financially through this publication.
* A specific role for the funder in the conceptualization, design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript, should be disclosed.
- Employment: Recent (while engaged in the research project), present or anticipated employment by any organization that may gain or lose financially through this publication.
- Personal financial interests: that may gain or lose financially through publication:
- Stocks or shares in companies
- consultation fees or other forms of remuneration (including reimbursements for attending symposia)
- Patents or patent applications (awarded or pending) filed by the authors or their institutions whose value may be affected by publication.
* For patents and patent applications, disclosure of the following information is requested: patent applicant (whether author or institution), name of the inventor(s), application number, the status of the application, and specific aspect of the manuscript covered in the patent application.
2) Non-financial competing interests:
Non-financial competing interests can take different forms, including personal or professional relations with organizations and individuals. We would encourage authors and referees to declare any unpaid roles or relationships that might have a bearing on the publication process.
Examples of non-financial competing interests include (but are not limited to):
- Unpaid membership in a government or non-governmental organization
- Unpaid membership in an advocacy or lobbying organization
- Unpaid advisory position in a commercial organization
- Writing or consulting for an educational company
- Acting as an expert witness
Dr A BBB reported receiving research grants and honoraria and consulting fees for speaking from X Company and Y. Dr CCC reported receiving honoraria from Z company and P.
CoI in Authors from Commercial organizations
- Authors from a pharmaceutical company that sponsors any clinical trial, must declare their interest during submission in the "CoI". They should also adhere to the Good Publication Practice guidelines for pharmaceutical companies (GPP3), which are designed to ensure that publications are produced responsibly and ethically.
- The guidelines also apply to any companies or individuals that work on industry-sponsored publications, such as freelance writers, contract research organizations, and communications companies.
Approach to undisclosed CoI before Publishing
Approach to undisclosed CoI after Publishing
- Based on the COPE flowchart:
- If authors denied any CoI: Inform readers by Retraction of the article.
- If authors supplied the relevant details: Publish a correction to the competing interest statement by EIC as required.