Conflict of interests

Clarity and objectivity are important both in research and in the process of expert evaluation.

When an investigator, author, editor or reviewer has financial, personal interests or beliefs that can affect his objectivity or improperly affect his actions, there is a potential conflict of interests.

The most obvious conflicts of interest are financial relations such as:

Unannounced financial interests can seriously undermine the credibility of a journal, authors and science itself. An example is a researcher who is an employee of a company that puts into operation the conducted research.

Conflict of interests can also exist as a result of personal relationships, academic competition and intellectual ambitions. An example is a researcher who:

Other considerations that should be considered are:

Full disclosure of the relationship that may constitute a conflict of interests, even if the person does not believe that it affects his judgment, should be reported to an editor of a journal to which the manuscript is submitted. Most publishers require disclosure in the form of a cover letter.

A journal can use this information as a basis for editorial decisions and will publish them, as they can be important for readers when evaluating an article. Similarly, the journal may decide not to publish the article on the basis of the alleged conflict.

Full clarity is always the best way to act and if there are doubts, they need to be disclosed.

Possible actions in case of a conflict of interests:

Undisclosed relationships that may constitute a conflict of interest

An undisclosed source of funding that may represent a conflict of interest