A Declaration of Conflicting Interests policy refers to a formal policy a journal may have to require a conflict of interest statement or conflict of interest disclosure from a submitting or publishing author.
The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) states in its Guidelines on Good Publication Practice (2003) that:
‘Conflicts of interest arise when authors, reviewers, or editors have interests that are not fully apparent and that may influence their judgments on what is published. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.’
Many scholars, researchers and professionals may have potential conflicts of interest, that could have an effect on – or could be seen to – have an effect on their research. As a result, BIOLIFE requires a formal declaration of conflicting interests enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated published article.
A potential conflicting interest might arise from relationships, allegiances or hostilities to particular groups, organizations or interests, which may influence excessively one’s judgments or actions. The issue is particularly sensitive when such interests are private and/or may result in personal gain.
Articles will be evaluated fairly and will not necessarily be rejected when any competing interests are declared.
Examples of conflicts of interest might include the following, although it is not an exhaustive list:
- Having received fees for consulting;
- Having received research funding;
- Having been employed by a related company;
- Holding stocks or shares in a company which might be affected by the publication of your paper.
If there are other interests which the reasonable reader might feel has affected your research you may also wish to declare them.
*Please note that it is not expected that details of financial arrangements be disclosed when a competing interest is declared.
Author obligations regarding conflicting interests
In your Journal Submission form you will be asked to certify that:
- All forms of financial support, including pharmaceutical company support, are acknowledged in your Contribution.
- Any commercial or financial involvements that might present an appearance of a conflict of interest related to the Contribution are disclosed in a covering letter accompanying the Contribution and all such potential conflicts of interest will be discussed with the Editor as to whether disclosure of this information with the published Contribution is to be made in the journal.
- That you have not signed an agreement with any sponsor of the research reported in the Contribution that prevents you from publishing both positive and negative results or that forbids you from publishing this research without the prior approval of the sponsor.
Editor obligations regarding conflicting interests
The same obligations equally apply to editors or guest editors writing an editorial that will be published in the journal.