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conflicts of interest

What is a ‘Conflict of Interest’?

Any financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications or opinions stated – including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition.

How can I be sure if I should declare something?

Please consider the following Conflict of Interest test: Is there any arrangement that would compromise the perception of your impartiality or that of your co-authors if it was to emerge after publication and you had not declared it?

Who should make the declaration?

The corresponding author is expected to obtain the relevant information from all co-authors

How should the declaration be made?

This journal requires declaration of any Conflict of Interest upon submission. This information will be available to the Editors. If your manuscript is published, this information will be communicated in a statement in the published paper.

Depending on the journal, you may also be asked to submit signed Conflict of Interest form(s) if your article is accepted for publication.

In both cases the corresponding author has to be in a position to report for all co-authors.

What happens if I do not know about any potential Conflict of Interest for my co-authors?

On submission any potential Conflict of Interest should be clearly stated for each author – the Editors reserve the right to require further information before the paper is reviewed. As corresponding author it is your responsibility to confirm with your co-authors whether they have any conflicts to declare. If you are unable to do this you will need to co-ordinate the completion of written forms from all co-authors, and submit these to the editorial office before the manuscript can be processed.

Are referees and Editors covered by a similar code?

All referees are either asked to decline to review a manuscript if they have a potential conflict or declare any potential conflict.

All Editors have submitted a Conflict of Interest statement to the publisher or society. Editors would not handle the review of a manuscript if there was a potential Conflict of Interest, and instead would pass it on to another editorial colleague.