Conflict of interest Policy (COIP)

Conflict of interest Policy (COIP)

Conflict of interest (COI) exists when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests.

1/ Types of Competing Interests:

Financial ties:

   This conflict is present when a participant in the publication process has received or expects to receive money (or other financial benefits such as patents or stocks), gifts, or services that may influence work related to a specific publication.  

Academic commitments:

   Participants in the publications process may have strong beliefs (“intellectual passion”) that commit them to a particular explanation, method, or idea.  They may, as a result, be biased in conducting research that tests the commitment or in reviewing the work of others that is in favor or at odds with their beliefs.

Personal relationships:

   Personal relationships with family, friends, enemies, competitors, or colleagues can pose COIs.  For example, a reviewer may have difficulty providing an unbiased review of articles by investigators who have been working colleagues.

   Political or religious beliefs:

   Strong commitment to a particular political view (e.g., political position, agenda, or party) or having a strong religious conviction may pose a COI for a given publication if those political or religious issues are affirmed or challenged in the publication.

Institutional affiliations:

   A COI exists when a participant in the publication process is directly affiliated with an institution that on the face of it may have a position or an interest in a publication. 

2/Declaring and Managing COIs:

COIs are ubiquitous and cannot be eliminated altogether. However, they can be managed constructively so that they make the least possible intrusion on journal content and credibility.

  All declarations about COI should be requested in writing as a condition of reviewing a manuscript and asked in such a way that authors will have a high likelihood of reporting their COIs related to the manuscript.

The consequences for failing to declare COI. 

   Any COI will be treated based on flowcharts for the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE); those charts that can be downloaded from the following link (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts). 

Which COIs will result in a manuscript not being considered further?  

   All types of COI mentioned in the previous text will results in stop processing and rejecting the manuscript until the COI is solved.

3/Responsibilities of Participants:

Authors:

   All authors should report any COI related to their research to the editor.  

Reviewers:

   All reviewers should report any COI related to their reviewing tasks to the editor.  

Editors:

   Editors should not make any editorial decisions or be involved in the editorial process if they have or a close family member has a COI (financial or otherwise) in a particular manuscript submitted to their journal.