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Conflict of Interest Policy

Submission by an editor
A paper submitted by an editor will be handled by one of the other editors who is not at the same institution as the submitting editor. The other editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper. The decision process will be handled in such a way that the submitting editor does not have access to information or correspondence relating to the submission that is not meant for authors.

Submission by author at same institution as one of the editors
A paper submitted by an author who is at the same institution as one of the editors will be handled by one of the other editors who is not at that institution. The other editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper.

Submission by family member of editor or by author whose relationship with editor might create the perception of bias
A paper submitted by a family member of one of the editors, or by an author whose relationship with one of the editors might create the perception of bias (e.g. in terms of close friendship or conflict/rivalry), will be handled by another editor. The other editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper. If in doubt, the editors will consult with one another.

Potential conflict of interest for reviewers
The invitation letter to reviewers includes the following paragraph: ‘If you know or think you know the identity of the author, and if you feel there is any potential conflict of interest in your refereeing this paper because of your relationship with the author (e.g. in terms of close friendship or conflict/rivalry) or for any other reason, please declare it. By accepting this invitation, it is assumed there is no potential conflict of interest.’.Standard policy will be not to use a referee if a conflict of interest has been declared, but the editors may use their discretion after consulting with one another.

General policy
If any of the editors feel that there is likely to be a perception of a conflict of interest in relation to their handling of a submission, they will declare it to the other editors. Standard policy in such a case will be for one of the other editors to handle the submission (in the same way as described above) but the editors may use their discretion.

Sources of funding
On acceptance, authors will be asked to provide a statement declaring all sources of funding relating to their paper, and the statement will be printed on the title page or at the end of their paper.